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By Amir Salehzadeh
March 14, 2014
Credit : AP/David Goldman.

Cody Brown, 23, was one of the millions of uninsured college students. 

Specifically, 19 million young Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 are uninsured, which accounts for 42 percent of the estimated 45 million uninsured Americans.

But Brown is no longer part of this group now that he has affordable health care thanks to Medicaid expansion in his state as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“I now have the assurance that if I get sick, or if something unforeseen happens to me, I will be covered and I won’t be paying these crazy medical bills for the rest of my life,” Brown said. “I finally finished applying for my healthcare in January.”

For Brown, he has already scheduled time to meet with a doctor for the first time in a long time.

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CREDIT: Cody Brown.

“I have an appointment set up in April to get a physical and [get] my overall health in check,” Brown said.

As a college student who attends the University of Wisconsin, Le Crosse, Brown did not have a high income, which qualified for Medicaid subsidies to offset the cost of plans.

“I was surprised with the amount of help that I got. I am a college student so my income is very limited so I expected some help,” Brown said. “But not nearly as much as I received.”

As a Community Health Education major, Brown knows very well how important preventative health services are to his campus and broader community. It was this realization that created a sense of urgency to get covered.

Brown reminds opponents of the ACA to remember when the health care was not as affordable and millions of Americans lived uninsured.

“I would still be uninsured and it is in my belief that health isn’t something that your should have to earn,” Brown said.

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