Before I started writing for the blog here, I was another out-of-work, recent college graduate, like so many of my friends. My brother had graduated three years before me and, at that time, my parents struggled to help him figure out a way to get health insurance. My family was lucky enough to be able to do that, but many of my brothers’ friends weren’t able to get insurance, and worked in restaurants and part-time office jobs without any health benefits.
But, when I went to get my diploma in May, health insurance was the only thing I wasn’t totally terrified about, looking toward my future.
The news came out this week that 2.5 million young people have health insurance because of President Obama’s health care law. I’m one of those young people. So are my friends, my roommates, and those classmates with whom I graduated seven months ago.
So we’ve been talking about this number—the big 2.5 million—like it’s some major accomplishment. And in a way, it is. It’s a number my family wouldn’t have dreamed of when my brother graduated. But, on the other hand, we shouldn’t be patting ourselves on the back as a country for making sure that young Americans don’t avoid doctors and hospitals because of medical bills.
Health care is a right, and there are still many people who go without it, or who have coverage that isn’t enough for what they need. We need to remember those people. Because right now, it’s me and my brother that my parents are worried about. But one day, it may be us siblings worrying about them.