The ACA Is Likely to Exacerbate the Trend towards Delayed Adulthood among 25 to 34 Year Olds

In looking back through some of my old papers, I noticed a faux press release that I created for one of my graduate classes.  Two caveats here: 1) this is not a real press release and 2) the statements in the release do not represent ad hoc thoughts but instead refer to carefully crafted/edited views.  Nonetheless, I think the document will provide readers with some valuable information or talking points.  If anyone is interested, I can post the full paper on here.

Contact: Anthony Hopper                                                                         For Release on 12/6/2010
Telephone: 434-249-2994

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Is Likely to Exacerbate
the Trend towards Delayed Adulthood among 25 to 34 Year Olds

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will likely encourage the continuation of a trend, developing for several decades, in which the transition period between youth and adulthood is delayed until one’s late twenties or early thirties.  The issue brief explores this topic as it relates specifically to Americans between the ages of 25 and 34.  This research provides important information for policymakers as well as for the general public because it describes changes that will impact cherished cultural, economic, and social norms.

The Affordable Care Act contains two, key sections which are likely to encourage Americans, between the ages of 25 and 34, to delay transitioning from the protected, transient lifestyles that defined their teenage years and their early twenties.  One of these segments, “Title I,” contains language which reinforces the perception that many people in their late twenties are not ready for all of the cares and responsibilities that come with adulthood.  At the same time, its creation of state sponsored healthcare exchanges and its subsidization of the insurance coverage provided by these entities may attenuate the need for people, aged 25-34, to secure full-time, long-term employment or to marry. 

“Title V” of the Affordable Care Act will also likely have a significant influence on young Americans.  This section of the bill allocates money towards loan forgiveness programs, funds training for nurses, and sponsors other initiatives, which are designed both to increase the number of healthcare professionals and to improve the quality of this workforce.  These actions will likely encourage many people in their late twenties or early thirties either to stay in school longer or to return to college, thus further encouraging a trend towards older students which has been developing for the past few decades.

One task of this issue brief is to describe the ways in which these segments of the Affordable Care Act will help exacerbate a trend in which Americans, between the ages of 25 and 34, delay getting married, having children, seeking long-term employment, and taking on other responsibilities which are considered part of being an adult.  However, the paper will also briefly touch on some of the cultural, social, and economic changes that may result from the continuance of this trend, including adjustments in parents’ relationships with their adult children, changes in childrearing behaviors, and the redefinition of what it means to be an adult.  As such, it contains pertinent information for both legislators and the general public.  They can refer to the data in this document to help them understand policy related issues involving 25-34 year olds.

This press release has been created by Anthony Hopper to promote his upcoming issue brief.  Copies of this document will be available to the public on Friday, December 10.  Please contact Anthony Hopper on or after this date if you are interested in obtaining a facsimile of this paper.

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