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Providing for the 30-Year-Old ‘Child’

11:09 AM, May 24, 2012 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
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The Wall Street Journal reports, “Rep. Steve Stivers of Ohio said he was considering introducing legislation requiring insurance companies to let consumers cover adult children on their plans up to the age of 31, charging an additional premium if necessary.” Contrary to what you might suppose, Stivers doesn’t caucus with the Democrats — which begs the question: When Republican congressmen are floating ideas like this, who needs Julia?

Huge Capitol

A great many Republicans (not just Stivers) seem to be afraid of the fact that repealing every last word of Obamacare means repealing the allegedly popular provisions requiring insurers to cover adult “children” up the age of 26 (by which point, many of these “children” will have voted in four federal elections).  But this really shouldn’t pose much of a concern — or much of a challenge — if the GOP will simply make the case on this issue.   

If insurers want to offer plans that cover people’s adult children — whether up to the age of 26, or 31, or 65, or 100 — and if people want to buy those plans, then by all means, they should.  But there’s a big difference between insurers deciding to offer such plans (and people deciding to buy them), and the federal government compelling them to offer such plans.  And there’s an even bigger difference between insurers deciding to offer such plans and the federal government requiring that every single plan offered by every single insurer must cover “children” up to the age of 26 (or 31).

The contrast between liberty and compulsion is at the heart of voters’ choice in November, and Republicans need to know which side they’re on — and be comfortable defending it.

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