What Does Court's Health Care Verdict Mean for Teenagers?

June 29, 2012
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Chief Justice Roberts was the deciding vote in yesterday’s Supreme Court decision on President Obama’s health care law.

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld President Obama’s health care law by a vote of 5-4.  Crossing over and voting with the four liberal justices, Chief Justice Roberts agreed that, as a tax, the law, and in particular, the individual mandate, is constitutional.  In other words, the government can require its citizens to purchase health insurance or else be subject to a fine.  But, now that it has been upheld by the Supreme Court, what does it mean for teenagers?  The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has several provisions that are specific to younger Americans.  Children with pre-existing medical conditions cannot be denied health insurance.  In the past, if someone had a serious health problem and lost their health insurance, for instance if their parent’s job changed, they could be denied new health insurance in the future since they could potentially cost the insurance companies too much money.  The law also allows young Americans to remain on their parents health insurance plan until age 26.  Families of low income will be eligible to receive subsidies in order to obtain health insurance.  In order to discourage unhealthy eating, chain restaurants will need to display the amount of calories each item on the menu contains.  Overall, while several parts of this law will directly affect teenagers, Congress has  announced that they will work to change or eliminate all or part of it.

What do you think?

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