Healthcare reform could help unemployed, childless individuals

Opponents say it would discourage these people from seeking jobs.

Federal reform could extend health insurance coverage for a group not previously eligible for Medicaid: the healthy, childless poor.

According to a report by the Philadelphia Inquirer, this reform would take pressure off the states and help reverse welfare attitudes imported from England and later enacted under the New Deal. It would also make insurance more affordable for the employed who have been discouraged by high prices.

"Supporters of a Democratic overhaul say excluding childless adults is an anachronism at a time when they are just as apt to become ill or face crushing medical expenses as anyone else," the report said.

Unemployed individuals who are too young to qualify for Medicare would be able to find coverage under this reform. Opponents cite funding issues as well as concerns about Medicaid's original intent. They also say that free healthcare would discourage unemployed and uninsured people - many of whom are 19 to 34 years old - from seeking employment, according to the report.

The recently released National Health Survey showed that about 13 million Americans age 20 to 29 did not have health insurance in 2008. This often led to reduced visits to doctors and unmet medical needs.ADNFCR-2378-ID-19657216-ADNFCR

Posted: March 8, 2010

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