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Graduates Forced to Join Millions of Uninsured Americans
Date:5/23/2008

AUSTIN, Texas, May 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Across the state this May, Texas college and university graduates might find themselves collecting more than just a diploma and a tassel. For many, graduation means an increase in debt, and a decrease in health insurance.

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The cost of higher education is no insignificant financial burden. As students complete school and join the workforce, educational debt forces many to forgo the "luxury" of health insurance.

According to a 2006 report issued by the Project on Student Debt, Texas college graduates can expect to pay more than $18,300 in student loan debt. And roughly 56 percent of Texas graduates will face college loan payments.

"When college graduates enter the workforce with a large education debt and no health care insurance, lifetime financial security is that much harder to achieve," said Bob Jackson, AARP Texas State Director.

But college and university students aren't the only graduates with impending financial and health care woes. In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2003 that college and university graduates receive an income that more than doubles that of the average high school graduate. And according to the Economic Policy Institute, a non-profit, nonpartisan think tank, employer-provided health insurance for jobs secured by high school graduates fell from 63 percent in 1979 to roughly 35 percent in 2002.

It may come as no surprise that young adults age 18-24 are the least likely Americans to have health insurance. In a 2006 survey, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) revealed that about 30 percent of these young adults lack a usual place to go when they're sick or need medical advice, and an equal percentage are uninsured.

This statistic is familiar to Lauren McPhail and Emily Tra
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SOURCE AARP-Texas
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