18-29 Year Olds Have Highest Uninsured Rate in the U.S.

“Young people have the most to gain from reform of the health care system and the most to lose from failure,” said Heather Smith, executive director of Rock the Vote. “Americans between the ages of 19 and 29 have the highest uninsured rate of any age group. They voted on this issue and they absolutely expect the leaders they elected to change health care in America.”

“In our country today, there is a 25 year-old with a pre-existing condition who is excluded from buying insurance in the private market, a 20 year-old line cook who doesn’t receive insurance through work and can’t afford it and a 28 year-old bank employee who has insurance but worries about the rising costs of premiums and job security. Young Americans are living and breathing the health care issue, most of them hoping every day that they will not suffer an accident or illness that will put them in deep debt for years to come.”


  • Half of uninsured 19-29 year olds work full time, but can’t afford health care because of low wages.
  • Half of all youth have been uninsured at some point in the last two years.
  • One-third of the US population is made up of racial and ethnic minorities, yet minorities represent over half of the uninsured.
  • Two-thirds of voters in the last election said the U.S. should provide health care for all.

  • Rock the Vote (RTV) Health Care Campaign – RTV is launching a new campaign on health care. The campaign will educate RTV’s member base of over one million young Americans. These young activists will be alerted to how the politicians they elected are working to reform health care; RTV will equip young people with the tools they need to fight back against elected leaders who do not make serious progress toward health care reform.

    In 2008, young Americans took action:

  • 22 million young Americans voted in the 2008 presidential election, an increase of 3 million compared with 2004.
  • Youth voter turnout rose to 52 percent, the highest turnout since 1972 (55.4%) This signifies the third consecutive major election where young people have significantly increased their turnout.
  • Young voters accounted for 60% of the overall turnout increase.

  • The main issues that spurred this demographic to the polls were the economy, college costs, energy and the environment and, of course, health care. RTV is ready to make sure the concerns of the fastest growing voting block in the country are answered.

    About Rock the Vote:
    Rock the Vote’s mission is to engage and build the political power of young people in order to achieve progressive change in our country.  Rock the Vote uses music, popular culture and new technologies to engage and incite young people to register and vote in every election. And we give young people the tools to identify, learn about, and take action on the issues that affect their lives, and leverage their power in the political process.  Rock the Vote is creative, effective, and controlled by nobody’s agenda but our own – we tell it like it is and pride ourselves on being a trusted source for information on politics.  We empower the 45 million young people in America who want to step up, claim their voice in the political process, and change the way politics is done. www.rockthevote.org