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How 'Obamacare' helps kids -- today

School vaccination

Do you hate "Obamacare"?

Then I'll bet you don't have older children.

Because if you do, you probably like -– may even have taken advantage of -- one aspect of the Affordable Care Act.

As The Times reported this week:

As many as a million young adults have signed up for health insurance in the last year, new data indicate, suggesting an early benefit of the healthcare law President Obama signed last year.

A survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the number of Americans ages 19 to 25 without insurance fell to 9.1 million in the first three months of 2011 from 10 million in 2010.

And a Gallup-Healthways poll found that the rate of uninsured adults ages 18 to 25 fell to 24.2% in the second quarter of this year from 28% last fall.

Now, if you tune in to the GOP presidential candidates' debates, you'd think Obamacare was a four-letter word.  Each and every Republican candidate wastes no time in denouncing the healthcare reform law or issuing promises to repeal it if elected.

Many Americans, though, apparently see it another way.

Starting last September, the new health law began allowing adult children up to age 26 to remain on their parents' health plans.

"The provision ... appears to be having an immediate effect on the number of Americans who report they have health insurance," Gallup concludes in a note accompanying its survey.

Gee, what do you know. While Republicans are busy slamming the president for risking our children's futures with an expensive healthcare law, parents are insuring  -- literally -- their children's health, and futures, today.

Now, Republicans are free to cast the healthcare reform law as the devil incarnate. One of them may even get elected. And the GOP might even be able to carry out its threat to repeal the law.

But if that happens, I wonder how they're going to explain to the parents of all those insured kids why they won't have access to affordable healthcare anymore.


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--Paul Whitefield

Photo: Nurse Susan Peel gives a whooping cough vaccination to a student at Inderkum High School in Sacramento.  Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press


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