Hoot: The Inquirer Explains the Impact of the New Health Care Law on Students.

This week I am hooting a Philadelphia Inquirer article that does a great job of taking a complex topic and simplifying it for readers.  Covering anything having to do with health care is a cumbersome and confusing task, but this writer breaks down the topic and hones in on the health-care law “hitch.”  In this article, staff writer Jane M. Von Bergen reveals a loophole in the recently signed health care law.  Apparently one provision of the law will allow young adults to stay on their parents’ health care plans until they’re 26 years old.  However, the question of who is to pay for the coverage remains uncertain.

Von Bergen begins her short, but comprehensive piece by introducing readers to a character, a Temple University student named Daniel Quick.  This technique works for the article, as it often seems that any talk of health care -and more importantly, those who are lacking coverage-has been without a face or a name.  Von Bergen makes her article more relatable by including real voices of students and young adults who will be directly affected by this law. 

Best of all, I think that the writer did a decent amount of background research for her piece, including relevant statistics and facts.  Von Bergen consulted Jennifer Tolbert, a Henry J. Kaiser Family foundation analyst, for some background information, some of which was rather surprising.  For example, the writer states that three in 10 young adults, ages 19 to 29, don’t have insurance.  This is in comparison to a mere 17 percent of adults ages 30 to 64.  Von Bergen is careful not to inundate her readers with facts, but rather to carefully weave them throughout her article in a non-distracting manner.

– Julie Gargotta

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