Man, Obamacare Stinks for You… Literally
It doesn’t appear likely that the Obama administration will get as many young people to sign up for Obamacare as they would like – or as many as are needed for the law to be viable. Why? It doesn’t make sense economically for us, as Fox News’s William La Jeunesse reported Tuesday morning. Obamacare means that young people – who earn dramatically less than their older counterparts – are subsidizing older, sicker people. This is especially true for young men, who see the doctor less often than women and have very low annual healthcare costs.
La Jeunesse states that “insurance industry figures show the average male age 21 to 35 sees a physician as little as once every two years.”
“Literally, if they do the arithmetic, 80 – 85 percent [of young ‘invincibles’] will just say no, pay the penalty, and stay out of the Affordable Care Act,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, President of American Action Forum.
The Administration has not released the number of young adults that has enrolled for healthcare plans under Obamacare. “Of the six states that are keeping score,” La Jeunesse reports, “only 28 percent, or slightly more than 1 in 4 enrollees is young and healthy, well below the Obamacare target of 40 percent.”
To Liberals Regarding Your Obamacare Rhetoric: Young People Aren’t As Gullible as You Think We Are
Liberals may be baffled by the idea that young people may make a decision other than what government bureaucrats demand or think is best for us. But unfortunately for Obamacare supporters, many young people are choosing not to purchase Obamacare.
Liberal writer Ezra Klein summed up the liberal perspective on young people and Obamacare this way in an article entitled “Why Obamacare is good for young people”:
For most people — including young people — Obamacare doesn’t much matter one way or the other. For a lot of young people, it’s a great deal because they get large subsidies, or because they’re already sick and locked out of the system. But for the remainder, it’s worth remembering that being young, healthy, and rich now doesn’t mean you won’t be old, sick, and poorer later — and if and when that time comes, you’ll need a health-care system willing to accept you.
It’s not that simple though. Forbes explains:
Let’s be clear: by design, this law can work if and only if enough young people are willing to pay premiums far higher than are actuarially fair in order to subsidize workers my age who on average earn far more than the young workers who are subsidizing them. Even if one takes into account that Millennials in the long run eventually will become old themselves and benefit from these subsidies, Obamacare still is an extraordinarily bad deal that effectively would force today’s 18-year olds to pay 18 percent more for their medical care over a lifetime than if each generation paid its own way. Such an age-related tax is unconscionable. Imagine if sales taxes or income taxes included a surcharge for everyone who happened to be a twenty-something. If this idea sounds preposterous, welcome to Obamacare.
Of the 4.3 million 18 – 30-year-olds eligible for the exchanges in 2014, about 2.9 million will be at least $500 better off by forgoing insurance and paying the penalty, and 2.38 million will be $1,000 better off if they go the same route.
Forbes also dismantles the claim that in the long run, young people will be better off:
once we take into account that most normal people don’t view $1 forty years from now as equivalent in value to $1 today, Obamacare essentially will impose a lifetime tax of 13.8% on the medical expenditures of 22-year-olds.
This law is exceedingly “unfair” to young people, even in the long run. In addition to the injustice described above, Obamacare will strip the economy of millions of jobs and force millions of full-time workers into part-time status. This will disproportionately affect young people. Liberal rhetoric aside, Obamacare is not good for young people, and it never will be. It will only get worse.