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Students show support for Affordable Care Act

USF students teamed up with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and a nonprofit organization to educate others on the benefits of the Affordable Care Act.

At the Marshall Student Center’s Bull Market on Wednesday, students from the College Democrats at USF teamed up with Darden Rice, communications director for the Affordable Care Act education group Know Your Care, and Natalia Cales, Regional Outreach Specialist from HSS, to tell passersby about the benefits of the health care act signed into law March 2010.

“One of the biggest provisions for young adults is for (them) to be able to stay on their parents’ insurance until the age of 26 … in the past, most people had to be dropped when they turned 21 or 23,” Cales said.

According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study released Wednesday, 900,000 fewer young adults ages 19 to 25 were uninsured in the first three months of 2011 than in 2010.

Cales said the act also states that young people under 19 years old cannot be refused coverage due to pre-existing conditions and can get coverage under parents’ plans, if needed.

“The more that people understand the Affordable Care Act, the more likely they are to support it,” Rice said. “The Affordable Care Act offers more benefits and more choices.”

The act will mandate health insurance companies to cover woman’s birth control without co-pay cost.

Luis Silva, president of USF’s College Democrats and a senior majoring in political science, said he supports the law and encourages students to look into it.

“I would’ve liked there to be more students (at the Bull Market), but we were there to raise awareness and I think we did,” he said. “I think a lot of these students really have no idea of how much it’s actually doing for us.”

Members from USF’s College Democrats, including Savanah Goodland, a senior majoring in humanities, came to show their support for the act.

“Health care really affects my family,” she said. “My brother has hypoplastic left heart syndrome. (The act) keeps him insured.”

Cales and Rice, stationed at the College Democrats table at the Bull Market, answered students questions about the Affordable Care Act.

This is the first time the two have been to USF and said they plan to universities, colleges and technical schools in Florida in the future to educate other students on the law, Rice said.