Obama Reaches Youth

On Wednesday, March 28, President Obama’s campaign team, Obama for America, hosted a college conference call, where college students could phone in and listen to representatives of the Obama administration.

The conference call is part of a larger effort called Greater Together: Young Americans for Obama, which the Obama team says is “about the power of young people coming together regardless of race, background, sexual orientation or geography.”

According to Obama for America, young people ages 18-29 will make the difference in the upcoming election. The organization claims that, by attempting to change Voter ID laws, Republicans are trying to make it harder for young people and minorities to vote.

Many Republicans supposedly want even stricter laws pertaining to identification at the polls, and statistics show that it is usually young people and minorities who do not meet these qualifications. The Obama team, instead, is trying to educate young voters about Voter ID laws so that they will be prepared to vote in November. “We’ve never solved anything in America with less democracy, and we won’t now,” said the administration.

National Women Vote Director Kate Chapek spoke a good deal about Obama’s health care reforms and his Affordable Care Act. She said that before the new health care law, more than one in five young Americans were uninsured, even though one in six young adults has a chronic disease such as cancer, diabetes or asthma. Now, under the Affordable Care Act, 2.5 million young adults have been able to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until they turn 26. She warned that the Republican candidates threaten to take these new measures away.

Chapek also shared a personal story about when she was pregnant and uninsured. Doctors would not see her because she was seen as a liability, and she was unable to get health insurance because her unborn was a “pre-existing condition.” This discriminatory practice has ended due to the Affordable Care Act, and the law now guarantees that all new insurance plans cover preventive care for women, such as birth control and breast and cervical cancer screenings, without expensive co-pays or deductibles.

Representatives also discussed college affordability. Obama’s student loan overhaul moved over $60 billion from big banks acting as middlemen and instead used those savings to expand Pell Grants. Obama also established the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which provides up to $10,000 in tuition relief that helped 4.5 million students and their families. Obama’s student loan reforms will cap monthly, income-based federal loan repayments at 10 percent of income, and will give student borrowers the chance to save hundreds of dollars by refinancing their federal loans and lowering their interest rates.

To investigate for yourself what the Obama administration has done for young people, you can go to http://www.barackobama.com/young-americans.

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