Senior angst and anger have been on vivid display as President Obama struggles to sell his health care reform package politically, but Mr. Obama is faring much better with another key demographic: the young.
Younger voters are disproportionately fans of Mr. Obama and his health care plan, polls show. A Pew Research Center study found that 66 percent of adults younger than 30 voted for Mr. Obama. Nearly 70 percent of these voters favor expanding the role of government as a way to solve the nation’s problems, including medical coverage.
That support could be seen in downtown Missoula, Mont., one day this summer at lunchtime, where passers-by were confronted by a group of young people dressed in doctors scrubs and wielding stethoscopes.
They were not looking to check heart rates; they were trying to build support for health care reform.
The White House clearly has discovered this affinity and is trying to capitalize on it. At the University of Maryland last month, Mr. Obama appealed directly for the support of young adults, calling health care reform the “defining struggle of this generation.”
“That journey doesn’t start in Washington, D.C.; it begins in College Park and on college campuses like this,” he added.
A coalition of pro-reform youth groups has labeled itself “Generation H” for health care reform.
Conservative groups opposed to the president’s health care plans also see the trend and say they have struggled to enlist younger voters in their cause.
“It has been hard,” said Kerri Toloczko, policy director for Conservatives for Patients’ Rights. “Young folks just don’t understand because they haven’t had the life experience.”
“We need to explain to them the destructive nature of government,” she added.
As a generation, young adults represent the largest percentage of the population without health insurance in the United States. A recent Gallup Poll found nearly 30 percent of those who say they are uninsured fall into the 18- to 29-year-old range.
Young adults also tend to be more supportive of congressional action on health care reform than those in other age groups.
A Pew survey in July found 61 percent of young people favored spending on health care, compared with 37 percent who favored reducing the deficit. In August, 45 percent of young people said they favor legislation being debated in Congress, while 38 percent opposed it.
Older Americans, by contrast, have been wary of health care reform. Only a third of Americans 65 and older say they favor the legislation being discussed in Congress, and more than half oppose it.
The powerful senior lobby AARP revealed that 60,000 of its members quit between early July and mid-August after the organization announced it was broadly in support of Mr. Obama’s drive to overhaul the nation’s health care system. AARP has resisted endorsing specific bills being considered by the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate.View Entire Story
Jillian Badanes presents the day’s top news stories in the daily “Morning Briefing” video. Check out the latest “Morning Briefing” here. Jillian graduated from The George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs with a major in Journalism and Mass Communication and a minor in International Politics. She spent her early years in London, England and Connecticut before ...
'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Although contemporary American politics is an unforgiving environment, it’s still wide open to implement a legitimate worldview based on timeless Biblical values.
Sometimes life requires a paradigm twist.
We all eat, and food should be fun and healthful. Food Commune celebrates the food we eat, the people we eat with and the spirits we enjoy.
First over-the-counter column approved for fast and effective relief from even your worst media-induced headache.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall