According to the New York Times, young adults aged 18 to 30 are the single largest uninsured demographic in America; a total of 13.2 million people that make up over 1/3rd of the total uninsured population.
The real tragedy lies however in a Pew Research study that shows our demographic as the least informed and engaged in the health care debate. This is despite the fact that we stand to benefit the most from any reform and hurt the most from failure. Most importantly, we are the ones to bear the enormous financial implications well into the next few decades.
One group that has attempted to highlight this looming problem is the national coalition of youth organizations called Young Invincibles. YI co-founder Ari Matusiak spoke about the apathy prevalent in our generation, mostly as a result of the political stagnancy of today:
Change is not easy. It comes only as a result of persistent struggle, unwavering conviction and a willingness to take risk. That is its character. In 2008, young Americans fought for this moment – this chance to make change. We believed we were sending leadership to Washington with the character to persist, stand strong and deliver for us all.
Groups such as Young Invincibles are doing an admirable job trying to involve us in the debate, but do not receive much national exposure – or even make an impression amongst its target demographic.
We are the generation that created the powerful social networking mediums that now define our culture. Facebook, Twitter and a million other tools to organize and socialize are our domain. Those younger than us are more proficient at these tools. Those older than us are more embedded in the tools of governance. But we are the creative young professionals throughout the United States that have the ability and responsibility to fashion a message and create a movement to broadcast out. These are the mediums that resonate in the American psyche, and these are the cues from which our Congress gathers their talking points.
There is a reason we are the most sought after demographic for advertisers. Popular culture is our domain, and trend-setting our calling card. A large portion of us fought for change two years ago, and now seem disillusioned by the lack of change once we achieved our goal. It is time to realize that change is not about elections, but about building a movement and urgency in our culture that allows our leaders to implement the change. If we make ourselves heard we will insure that we are not stuck with the bill when everyone else has left the table.
Check out Young Invincibles below: