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Commentary

Despite policymakers’ attempts to repeal all or parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) nearly 60 times, the ACA works. Further, both times all or certain provisions of the ACA have been to the Supreme Court, the health care law has remained mostly intact. In 2014, the ACA enhanced the well-being of nearly 460,000 North Carolinians who were able to obtain affordable health care coverage. Open Enrollment 3 started on November 1, 2015 and goes until January 31, 2016. While many residents of the Tar Heel state understand the benefits of the ACA, only 28 percent of enrollees are young adults based on 2014 enrollment data. Tomorrow, January 21st, is National Youth Enrollment Day and advocates of the ACA are encouraging young adults to get covered.

Why should young adults enroll in the ACA?

  • Even though the ACA allows youth until age 26 years to remain on their parents’ insurance, adults between the ages of 19 and 34 years are still the most likely to be uninsured.
    • Many pediatricians will continue seeing patients until they complete secondary school and college or until 18 to 21 years. For many young adults, once they leave pediatric care, they do not have a regular primary care doctor until their 30s and 40s.
  • Young adults are the least likely to have a health care home. Individuals who do not have a regular place to seek health care are more likely to rely on urgent or emergency care.
  • You can shop the Marketplace to find a coverage plan that fits your budget. This is especially important because…
    • Young adults were the hardest hit by the Great Recession, thus increasing the need for financial help in obtaining care through the ACA;
    • The average amount of financial help North Carolinians receive is $315 per month;
    • The penalty for not obtaining health care coverage has increased to $695 per person or 2.5 percent of one’s household income, whichever is higher. For more information please visit: https://www.healthcare.gov/fees/fee-for-not-being-covered/ or call: 1-855-733-3711;
    • As of November 2015, 81 percent of ACA enrollees from NC selected plans that cost less than $75 per month.
  • Health care coverage offers one peace of mind…
    • No longer have to worry about whether you can access affordable or quality care when you need it;
    • No longer have to worry about waiting until a health concern becomes severe or chronic and thus more costly;
    • No longer have to worry about bankruptcy or the financial burden from medical bills if you or a loved one gets sick.
  • Affordable health coverage helps young adults access primary care preventative care…

There are 11 days left to enroll, please visit healthcare.gov to start the enrollment process!

Commentary

MDCRecently, the good people at Durham-based nonprofit known as MDC, released the group’s most recent “State of the South” report. For those interested in looking behind the headlines to get a feel for exactly what’s going on in the region, it’s an important “must read.”

This year’s report, which carries the impressive title “Building an infrastructure of opportunity for the next generation,” looks closely at the issue of youth mobility in the South. Recently, one of the report’s authors, Alyson Zandt, submitted this very useful summary:

A young person born at the bottom of the income ladder in the South is less likely to move up it as an adult than in any other region in the nation. Some of the region’s cities may be thriving, but even our most economically vibrant places do not propel enough of their youth and young people up the ladder of economic and social mobility.

The State of the South 2014 report, “Building an Infrastructure of Opportunity for the Next Generation,” takes a deep look at youth mobility in the South. The report, released by Durham-based nonprofit MDC, finds, for instance, that in the Forbes magazine rating of “Best Places for Business and Careers,’’ six Southern metros placed in the top 10 among the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the nation, but eight Southern metros rank in the worst 10 metropolitan areas on a measure of mobility. Of Southern metros in the top 50 for business, only one is also in the top 50 for mobility: Houston, Texas.

The gap between business vitality and youth mobility is especially pronounced in North Carolina’s largest cities. Read More

Uncategorized

Local political organizer/activist Bryan Perlmutter has called our attention to an exciting summer training program for Triangle-area young people:

“Calling Triangle-Area Teens:  Work this summer to stop racism & school re-segregation, challenge the school to prison pipeline, and make schools safe for LBGTQ youth (and get paid!).

 
The Institute will take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from July 9-25, with one overnight retreat. 
Entering its fourth year the Youth Organizing Institute is committed to training, supporting, and developing the next generation of activists, organizers, and social change leaders in North Carolina.

Applications are due June 1.

Get the full story by clicking here.

Uncategorized

A new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation suggests an entire generation of young Tar Heels is aging with limited work experience or job-readiness skills.

Last year, nearly 6.5 million American teens and young adults ages 16 to 24 were disconnected, that is they were not enrolled in school while also unemployed. In North Carolina, about one in every five young people in that age group were  disconnected.

“Far too many of our young people are not in school, not working, and have few employment prospects placing them at risk of chronic underemployment and reduced financial stability later in life,” said Deborah Bryan, President & CEO of Action for Children North Carolina. “The potential economic and social cost of youths’ lack of access to employment extends well beyond the lives of those young people affected; it undermines our state’s ability to achieve a prosperous future.”

According to the Casey Foundation, only 41 percent of North Carolina’s young people were employed in 2011, compared to 60 percent in 2000.

The report emphasizes the need to reengage high school dropouts and provide multiple pathways for disconnected younger workers to build their job-readiness skills. Advocates at Action for Children North Carolina note that when young people have no connection to school or jobs, government spends more to support them.

The entire report Youth and Work can be viewed online here. To view disconnected youth by race, click the image below.