Young Adults Use Facebook To Advocate Health Insurance Expansion

Armen Hareyan's picture
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More than 20 groups on the Web site Facebookare "dedicated to advocating expanded government health coverage" and"many of them have hundreds of members," with some who "explicitly tiethe issue to the 2008 elections," The Politico reports. According to The Politico,the number and size of the groups are "unsurprising when you considerthe surge in interest in health policy among young people, one-third ofwhom are uninsured."

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A recent poll of young adults conducted by Rock the Vote found that health care ranked as their second most important election issue after the war in Iraq. Mollyann Brodie, a Kaiser Family Foundationvice president and director of the Foundation's public opinion andmedia research, said, "Health care is a topic that young people areengaged in and interested in this campaign."

Some questionwhether support for an expansion of health insurance will "translateinto a decisive factor at the ballot box among young voters next year,"according to The Politico. Michael Tanner, a health care expert at the Cato Institute,said, "If you're young, you may not have health insurance, so sure, whywouldn't you want it?" However, "what you'd actually find in practiceis that it's not a particularly motivating issue," he said.

Manyyoung adults "are fortunate to be so healthy that it isn't an issue forthem," and the issue only "resonates after they experience a seriousillness or injury," The Politico reports (Adler, The Politico, 11/26).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily HealthPolicy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The HenryJ. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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