FYI to Congress: Health care is a big concern for millennials

As Republican lawmakers seek again to overturn the Affordable Care Act, the youngest generation of voters is watching closely.

The 2017 Millennial Impact Report interviewed more than 3,000 millennials about politics, social issues and the topics that concern them most and found health care is one of the top three issues that matter most to the group. The top issue overall was civil rights and racial discrimination. Health care and job creation were tied for second.

A major provision of the Affordable Care Act allows young adults to remain on their parents’ insurance plans until age 26, a component that remains popular even with many critics. Before Obama’s legislation, the cutoff was 19 unless a young person was fully enrolled. And even then, the cutoff was 22. With many young adults not enrolling in school full time due to increasing costs of higher education, not graduating in the traditional four years, or struggling to secure employment after immediately graduating, finding ways to retain health-care coverage was of major importance.

Health-care reform was actually the top issue of concern for white millennials. And it was the top issue for millennials living in the suburbs and rural America.

The efforts of the White House and Senate Republicans to undo the Affordable Care Act are being challenged by a bipartisan group of governors who are against the proposal — and millennials are paying attention. The survey said millennials are now driven to engage more locally than nationally.

Millennials said they responded to these issues by voting for politicians who held their views, by signing petitions and by contacting a political representative.

Many researchers, including political scientists and political campaigners, are closely watching this generation, which is now the largest in America. There’s a big question about how deeply they will engage in upcoming elections, including next year’s midterms.

According to the survey, the group thinks voting is important. Most — 66 percent — believe voting will lead to the changes they desire and 77 percent consider it a duty of every citizen. Most (65 percent) say they voted in the 2016 presidential election. Turnout actually increased over the previous election, according to the Pew Research Center.

About half of millennials (49 percent) said they were unsatisfied or extremely unsatisfied with President Trump, the candidate that most of them voted against in the 2016 election. And less than a third of them (29 percent) believe the country is going in the right direction.