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Congressman McEachin's Effort to Get More Young People Enrolled in Health Insurance

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Ever since the Trump administration spiked the individual mandate for health insurance back in 2017, young people have avoiding signing up for health insurance. Now, one Virginia congressman is supporting a proposal aimed at getting more young people in the insurance pool.

Congressman Donald McEachin says tax credits for health insurance are needed to persuade young people to sign up for health insurance, a way to counteract the trend of people under the age of 35 who decide they can’t afford health insurance.

Sabrina Corlette at Georgetown University says that’s not just good for young people. It’s also a financial benefit to people over the age of 35.

“And so, if you bring more young people into the insurance pool that means that, on average," she explains, "the pool will likely be healthier and that makes premiums more affordable for everybody across the board.”

But, will restoring a piece of Obamacare fly in a divided Washington? Congressman McEachin says he thinks so. 

“Well, you know, we just passed robocalls, and health insurance shouldn’t be a partisan issue," McEaching says. "So I remain hopeful. I’m the eternal optimist.”

The bill would cap health insurance premiums at a maximum percentage of a person’s income, and the value of the tax credit would decline in phases approaching the 35th birthday.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.