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Health coverage: Helping Ayla Brown

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The 23-year-old professional singer Ayla Brown surely ran into the same issue many other workers her age face: If a young, self-employed worker needs health insurance, the most affordable way for her to get it is to stay on her parents’ policy, as allowed under Massachusetts law and President Obama’s 2010 health care law. The fact that her father, Scott Brown, opposed Obama’s health care overhaul doesn’t make him a hypocrite, as critics charge.

Opposition to a law doesn’t oblige Brown or anyone else to pretend that it doesn’t exist. Brown is hardly the first American to seek the benefits, for himself or his family, of a law he opposes. Plenty of people who think that the mortgage-interest deduction distorts the housing market, or is unfair to renters, will take the tax break on their own homes anyway.

This example can, however, serve to highlight the need to move beyond the reflexive argument that all aspects of Obamacare are bad and instead begin to identify solutions to the real disparity of coverage provided across the country. Whatever else it does, Obamacare draws everyone into the health care system, allows people with preexisting conditions to get coverage, and, yes, keeps recent graduates on their family plans a little longer.

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