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May 12, 2011

Hoyer urges schools to teach health care benefits

Rep. Steny H. Hoyer is asking colleges and universities in his district to add a new item to their curricula: Information about the benefits of the Democrats' health care overhaul.

Polls show Americans remain divided over the controversial law approved by congressional Democrats and signed last year by President Barack Obama. Republicans rode opposition to the overhaul to the House majority in November, and surveys this year have shown a plurality of voters favor its repeal.

Supporters of the law say it will grow more popular as more of its provisions take effect.

“Before health reform became law, more than one-third of all young adults — including those with insurance — were having trouble paying their medical bills, and one-fourth were paying off medical debt,” Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, said Thursday in a statement.

“The Affordable Care Act has a number of features that will help those young Americans and provide them with the health and security they deserve. It is important that young people understand and have access to the health coverage they need, so I encourage our colleges and universities to help ensure that they are aware of the new options and resources available to them.”

In a letter Thursday, Hoyer suggested the colleges and universities of the Fifth Congressional District consider placing links on their homepages, distributing flyers along with graduation materials and hosting information sessions about the law.

The letter, which Hoyer's office said was sent to the University of Maryland, Bowie State University, St. Mary's College of Maryland and other schools, follows after the jump.

May 11, 2011

Dear ------,

As we approach the graduation season, I wanted to follow up on a letter you should have received from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan regarding health care coverage for students.

The recently enacted Affordable Care Act contains a vitally important, immediate improvement in health coverage options for young people under age 26. Thanks to this new law, young people up to age 26 can typically obtain coverage on their parents’ health insurance plan as long as that plan covers dependent children. This option is true regardless of whether they are employed, in school, or living at home. I encourage you to follow up on the secretaries’ advice and ensure that your graduating students – and the entire student body – are aware of this new option for health coverage.

The Administration provided numerous ways to supply this information to your student body. Listed below are those links for your convenience:

• Place a “badge” on the home page of your Website that automatically links to information about how students can remain on their parents’ health insurance plan. Download the badge by visiting:

• Distribute a flyer to students and their parents about this new benefit along with graduation materials. Download a sample flyer by visiting:

• Encourage staff to talk to students about other insurance options – for example, if their parents do not have coverage – by visiting:

• Host a session to explain insurance options to your students. HHS has helpfully offered to assistance in creating this event and you can email them at:

• Encourage students to visit the Administration’s Facebook page with information for young adults and parents about coverage for individuals under age 26. That can be found at:

Another excellent resource for your student body is the non-partisan Young Invincibles online tool kit:, which has information tailored specifically to young people. It is searchable by state and explains exactly what the new law means to young people, including how to get on a parent’s insurance policy, what to do if he or she has a pre-existing condition, and how the new law impacts women and young people with cancer.

Working together, we can ensure more students and recent alumni obtain the health coverage they need. Please feel free to contact my office at 202-225-4131, should you have any questions. We appreciate your attention to this important matter.

Wishing you the best during this graduation season and with kindest regards, I am

Sincerely yours,


Posted by Matthew Hay Brown at 3:02 PM | | Comments (15)


OK Steny. Our colleges are so left wing in the humanities and social sciences that a bit more propaganda for the Socialist Cause won't ruin any one's brain. But since you are a liberal of the Old School, ie. you don't support shouting down speakers like the PC Left does on campus, why don't you OK these Obama Is Great classes with an understanding that profs or researchers from alternative institutes like Cato or Heritage will appear on the same sites or venues as the Obamaganda? Free Speech and Education. They do go together, Bro Steny, do they not?

Well if the Mayo Clinic thinks it is so confusing that it can't be implimented what exactly do you expect a bunch of ivory tower academics to do with it?

Another clueless politican trying to shove soviet style healthcare down the public's throat so he can direct more taxpayer money to his union cronies. Great job Maryland.

High time Americans became educated on health care and the fact that our current system is broken- quality of health care in US falls well behind other industrialized countries and the cost is twice the cost elsewhere. Those opposed to the health care reform are either ignorant of the facts or are heartless in that they want to deny 40 Million of their fellow Americans access to health care insurance.

There is significant added cost to healthcare due to poor healthcare literacy. I blogged about this topic March 14, 2011--
Improving the healthcare literacy of Americans can help reduce unnecessary visits and thus provide savings to the healthcare system. I welcome this as a first step to improve healthcare literacy. There is much we can do with education alone to reduce the cost of healthcare.

Or, Jack k, those opposed to the health care reform understand that resources are and always will be limited, that cost pressures will not remotely be addressed by these "reforms," and that those best positioned to determine necessary care are patients and doctors, not bureaucrats.

But all that aside, please persist in your strawman arguments and name calling. That will no doubt win your opponents to your cause.

Obamacare is simply unAmerican. I already pay WAY too many taxes, including FICA and all the other garbage that gets taxed. Obamacare is one more way for the contributors to subsidize the moochers. And by the way, of the roughly 40 million who are uninsured, a large chunk of them are here illegally and another large chunk can afford it but have chosen not to buy it. So really there is a tiny portion of the population that doesn't have and can't afford healthcare. Ok, so let's find a simple way to provide barebones coverage to those who just can't afford it. But Obamacare is a giant can of worms that we can certainly live without. Get rid of it and Obama before this country really does fall off a cliff.

I just heard it on the radio that "Penny Health Insurance" can offer health insurance for just $1 a day any one aware of this ? have anyone purchased insurance through them. I did search for them and found them online.

As usual, connect the dots.

Young Invincibles - Center for Community Change - SEIU - Open Society Institute - George Soros.

That's fine, Steny, just don't insult us by calling this "non-partisan."

When will students find time to focus on the many benefits of the Affordable Care Act? Aren't their workloads already overwhelmed by courses on diversity, feminism, sexual orientation, etc?

How dare schools tell children about how they can remain on their parent's privately purchased health insurance! It's SOCIALISM I tells ya! SOCIALISM!

Might as well send college youth to madrasah's to get indoctrinated by secular fundementalism. INDOCTRINATION IS NOT EDUCATION


"Those opposed to the health care reform are either ignorant of the facts or are heartless"

Classic Socialist LibCommie attack on the Right, applied to any and every topic. This one likely from a Lib uni professor paid to "teach" kids...

Whoever supports ObamaScare also supports year long waits for appointments.

You voted for him Maryland. How you feeling about that vote now.

Our schools are already being used as a propaganda arm of the government. We need to less of the government in our schools, not more.

Department of Education should be eliminated. I don’t really have a problem with locally operated public schools so long as they are union free.

Is there something interesting?

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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