Photo Credit: Harvard University Institute of Politics

You may have seen my previous blog post on the importance of convincing uninsured “young invincibles” to get health insurance. So how’s that going for the Obama administration?

If a poll from the Harvard University Institute of Politics released earlier this week is any indication, not well.

Key findings from the study show that less than one third of uninsured millennials under 30 plan to enroll. Many young people feel the quality of their care will get worse under the law (40% of 18-29 year olds surveyed), and about half believe the amount they pay for care will increase.

The Obama administration and the Department of Health and Human Services were out in full force this week trying to shift these numbers, ramping up outreach efforts to young adults and urging them to sign up for insurance.

During a speech at the White House Youth Summit on Wednesday, one thing President Obama said that really stuck with me was his response to a question frequently put forth by conservatives, “Why are you impinging on my freedom to do what I want?”

His response: Everyone is going to get sick and need care eventually. And someone is going to have to pay for it, whether that be your family or tax payers (and if you think your mom and dad want to pay for a $1,000 ambulance ride or $500 per stitch, think again).

You never know when you’re going to get sick. Ask my older brother. One day he was totally healthy; the next day he was at Johns Hopkins University Hospital battling bacterial meningitis. Without insurance, my parents would have been looking at a $40,000+ hospital bill.

So, young people, get out in your community and talk about health insurance. There are plenty of ways to spread the word. The following were all suggestions put forth by the administration:  

  • Post on Facebook and tweet with the hashtag #GetCovered
  • Form a student group on campus
  • Discuss healthcare on your college radio show
  • Host a health insurance happy hour (my favorite of all of suggestions)