Reminder to young people: ObamaCare needs YOU!
posted at 1:21 pm on July 25, 2013 by Erika Johnsen
If you’re a young person who happens to be reading this and you somehow have yet to figure out that our esteemed president’s crowning legislative achievement relies directly on you volunteering to pay what in many cases will amount to at least a couple thousand more dollars a year for a health insurance plan that you in all likelihood will not need to use very much… then you really haven’t been paying attention.
That’s a couple thousand dollars you should’ve/would’ve/could’ve used as part of a down payment for a house or a car, for payments on your student loans, or just as normal disposable income that you put in a savings account or spend on everyday things. Underneath ObamaCare, of course, there are caps on how much money people with more intensive health-care needs have to pay, and nobody can be denied health insurance — meaning that somebody has to pay for all of those much more expensive health-insurance risk pools. Young people — this means you.
In his big, fat nothingburger of yet another ‘economic pivot’ speech yesterday, the President Obama obviously took the opportunity to tout his health care law and all of its supposed awesomeness, citing the same information from the big NYT story from last week purporting that “New York announced that premiums for consumers who buy their insurance in these online marketplaces will be at least 50 percent less than what they pay today. That’s right — folks’ premiums in the individual market will drop by 50 percent.”
What we’re meant to infer from that little tidbit, of course, is that ObamaCare is helping to apply downward pressure on premiums nationwide. What the president failed to mention, however, is that New York already has some of the most expensive premiums in the nation because they already have a health-care system of ObamaCare-like proportions. Sure, ObamaCare might help New York to tighten up the screws of their convoluted system and push down premiums, but then the law is going to turn around and impose the system on other states that don’t have hyper-expensive premiums.
In other words, ObamaCare might help out in a handful of states whose premiums have pretty much nowhere to go but down, but as Philip Klein points out over at the Washington Examiner in regards to a new GAO report on ObamaCare, in most states are going to be watching costs rise, especially for young people:
There are several observations I have from looking at the data below. For starters, the four most expensive states for a young and healthy resident to purchase insurance (Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Maine) all currently have Obamacare-like regulations on the books (most significantly, a requirement that insurers cover those with pre-existing conditions). Massachusetts — the most expensive place to purchase insurance — is essentially Obamacare at the state level.
Beyond that, it’s worth noting that the anticipated rates under Obamacare are far more expensive than the existing rates for a healthy 30 year-old. Starting next year, a 30 year-old earning $35,000 per year would have to pay $2,739 annually for a cheap “bronze plan” on the new health insurance exchanges, even after receiving subsidies, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s subsidy calculator. That’s more expensive than any state in the current system, and seven times more expensive than in the cheapest state, Nebraska, where premiums are currently as low as $349 annually.
The WSJ also adds some useful observations on the pricey plight young people will shortly be facing in droves:
The success of the new health-care law rides in large measure on whether young, healthy people like Gabe Meiffren, a cook at a Korean-Hawaiian food cart, decide to give up a chunk of disposable income to pay for insurance.
After getting a peek at rates being offered for fall, the 25-year-old man said he would have to peel back “expenses that aren’t life or death, like records and concert tickets,” or whiskey sours at the Horse Brass Pub down the street.
Mr. Meiffren, who hasn’t seen a doctor in more than a year, isn’t sure buying insurance is worth it, despite a federal penalty for failing to buy coverage, starting in January.
President Barack Obama’s signature initiative rests on what Mr. Meiffren and his peers choose. If flocks of relatively healthy 20- and 30-somethings buy coverage, their insurance premiums will help offset the costs of newly insured older or sicker people who need more care. If they don’t, prices across the U.S. could spike.
Newsflash, Obamabots: There’s no such thing as free health care.