Youth Health Policy Groups Partner to Answer Obama's Call for Input
NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 4, 2009 — In advance of Thursday's White House Health Care Summit, thousands of young adults are stepping up to answer President Obama's call for input. SHOUTAmerica, a non-profit healthcare reform organization, and the Roosevelt Institution, a multi-issue student policy organization, have partnered to launch an interactive, online think tank to give a voice to America's youth - a group that has much at stake but is often underrepresented in the healthcare debate.
"For years, think tanks have played important roles in the development of legislation in Washington," said Landon Gibbs, who co-founded SHOUTAmerica with well-known health care veteran Clayton McWhorter. "Our online think tank seeks to engage young people and offer them the opportunity to create, share and vote on their own ideas for healthcare reform."
Top ideas from this website will be discussed at a national student health policy conference that will be organized by the Roosevelt Institution on April 3rd and will be published in a journal that will be distributed to policy makers in June. "Young adults turned out to vote in record numbers in the 2008 election, but our involvement in the policy process doesn't end at the ballot box," said Robert Nelb, the National Health Policy Coordinator for the Roosevelt Institution.
The groups are hoping to gather a wide range of health policy ideas, but they are paying special attention to the unique needs of young adults. According to Gibbs, "The healthcare crisis disproportionately affects young people in this country. At present, America's youth age 18-35 are more likely to be uninsured than any other age group. In an auto accident, for example, many young adults would find that their cars are better protected than they are."
Gibbs also noted, "Our generation will be left paying the bill for any unfunded, financial obligations arising from health care's rapidly rising cost. Currently, that number is $34.1 trillion from Medicare alone."
By letting youth speak for themselves, the groups ultimately hope to break common stereotypes of young people today. According to Nelb, "We are not 'young invincibles' who are immune to today's healthcare challenges. Instead, we are 'young insurables' who want a sustainable healthcare system that provides quality, affordable healthcare coverage for our peers and for all Americans."
For more information visit: www.shoutamerica.com/thinktank.