New York magazine has a must-read article for anybody over 30 (and a great read for those under 30).
There’s only one problem: the title.
The article is heartbreaking in describing the problem: young people who are students, part-time workers, just starting their careers, who are not offered employer-based coverage, don’t qualify for public programs, and with low-incomes and high rents can’t afford to buy it as individuals.
The situation seem particular acute for places like New York and California. This statement could just as easily be about the Golden State:
“A lot of the professions that draw young people to New York—everything from retail to the arts to restaurants to software development—tend to have spottier coverage,” says James R. Tallon, the president of the United Hospital Fund, a health-care think tank. Even large corporations are increasingly reluctant to offer coverage. (At a company like MTV, for instance, many full-time employees work in a nebulous state of hourly wages and no benefits, an arrangement that can last years.)
But while the article describes all these situations where the current system places young people in these no-win situations, the piece is entitled, “The Young Invincibles,” using the insurance industry term, and accepting their premise. With those three words, it suggests that folks “choose” to be uninsured.
If people actually read the text, you have Andrew Kuo, a 29-year old painted who “made a vow to be insured by the time he turned 30.”
And here’s one anecdote:
Nichole Schulze, a 31-year-old former publicist and current student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, was quick to rattle off a battery of quasi-logical preventive measures: “You won’t see me snowboarding or mountain biking or even jaywalking. My friends think I’m a freak because I’m the only person in New York who actually waits until the light changes to cross the street. Oh, and I eat a kiwi every morning because I read somewhere that they contain twice the vitamin C of oranges. And if it’s snowing? I’m the one walking on the inside of the sidewalk, just in case a cab decides to swerve and hop the curb.” Should any of these methods fail? “I carry an expired Blue Cross card in my wallet. You never know, maybe they’ll think I have insurance and I’ll get better care.”
Doesn’t sound like they feel invincible to me.
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