Are Republicans sabotaging ObamaCare by frightening younger consumers?

posted at 9:21 am on November 20, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

That’s what Dana Milbank argues in his column today.  In his estimation, the GOP wants younger people to bail out of the ObamaCare system to encourage a “death spiral” for insurers by jacking up premiums and forcing the ACA to collapse under its own weight.  But Milbank has a serious chicken-egg misperception at the heart of his argument:

The Republicans’ scary-movie strategy has some logic to it: If they can frighten young and healthy people from joining the health-care exchanges, the exchanges will become expensive and unmanageable. This is sabotage, plain and simple — much like the refusal by red-state governors to participate in setting up the exchanges in the first place. But those sabotaging the new law should be careful what they wish for: Instead of killing the law, they are likely to make it more expensive to taxpayers. Their efforts could have the effect of turning Obamacare, which relies on private insurance and the free market, into just the sort of big-government entitlement Republicans were worried about in the first place.

If they succeed in scaring people away, the ones who join exchanges are likely to be older and sicker, making the insurance pool costlier to insurers. As Larry Levitt, a senior vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, explained to me, if costs are more than 3 percent higher than anticipated in the first few years of Obamacare, the federal government will have to pick up at least half of the additional expense.

If the health-care exchanges continued to attract only the elderly and the sick in future years, premiums would rise and the only people likely to remain in the program will be those who qualify for the federal subsidies, which would increase sharply because individual contributions are limited to a percentage of the recipient’s income.

“The more successful opponents are at discouraging young and healthy people from enrolling, the bigger share of the cost the federal government will end up covering,” Levitt said. “The implication of encouraging young and healthy people to sit on the sidelines is that costs are shifted to the federal government.”

This is nonsense on stilts, because it assumes that prices remained stable for these consumers in the first place.  In fact, prices have already skyrocketed, and for younger consumers in particular. HHS tried to claim that rates went up “less than expected,” but did so only by comparing the new rates released in September to projections for 2016, not 2014.  Avik Roy at Forbes and the Manhattan Institute showed that rates actually went up from 52% to 99% over the previous year, and quadrupled in some states. That’s before the first person signed up for these plans, healthy and young or sick and old.

Furthermore, the plans themselves changed in a way that didn’t fit the needs of those younger consumers.  Those younger consumers, who are on average a lot healthier and less affluent, chose plans that made some rational sense for their economic and health situations — coverage that focused on hospitalization and covered only those issues that they had reason to predict might concern them.  Now, ObamaCare forces them into comprehensive plans that make little sense for their potential use of health-care services.

Thanks to the costs of the mandates, insurance companies have had to raise deductibles just to keep premiums within range of these younger, healthier consumers, too.  Instead of a cheap, affordable plan that allowed young Americans to pay retail costs for occasional clinic visits but gave them solid coverage for rare catastrophic events, they now have to spend thousands of dollars a year for coverage that doesn’t kick in at all until after they spend an additional $4,000 out of pocket first.

And this is the calculation that anyone can make. If you have to spend $4,000 on insurance and then another $4,000 on deductibles before seeing the first benefit from the insurance plan, why buy it at all? Why not just pay retail on clinic visits? Most young people will see a doctor once or twice a year, which might cost them $500 or so rather than the $8,000 they’re facing in this newly mandated apparatus.  (Even if they do get subsidies for the premiums, they don’t get subsidies on the higher deductibles they now face.) Thanks to the ACA, they can buy insurance later if they do get really sick, and in the meantime will only have to pay a fine of around $500 bucks or so to avoid the mandate.

That’s not a “scary movie” snow job.  That’s a rational calculation of risk and cost. Milbank dances all around this point, but he never once provides a rational reason for younger, healthier people to pay into this system by the thousands of dollars when most of them won’t get a single dollar in benefits from it.


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No, ObamaCare is doing that quite nicely all by its lonesome …

ShainS on November 20, 2013 at 9:23 AM

“Scary movie strategy”?

Who threw Grandma off the cliff?

Ben Hur on November 20, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Spot on Ed

gwelf on November 20, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Dana Milbank. Needs a show on MSNBC, but there are only so many shows there. Enough said.

22044 on November 20, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Most young people will see a doctor once or twice a year, which might cost them $500 or so rather than the $8,000 they’re facing in this newly mandated apparatus. (Even if they do get subsidies for the premiums, they don’t get subsidies on the higher deductibles they now face.)

-Ed Morrissey

I don’t think I’ve seen anyone make this point yet – you don’t get your much higher deductible subsidized.

gwelf on November 20, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Yep, Republicans are scaring young customers from shelling out $400 a month for a product they’ll never use.

Those damned, damned Republicans.

HitNRun on November 20, 2013 at 9:24 AM

So we’re back to the “obozocare failed because it was booed” excuse?

Flange on November 20, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Are Republicans sabotaging ObamaCare by frightening younger consumers?

Sorry, the left has a monopoly on fear mongering.

antipc on November 20, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Obamacare, which relies on private insurance and the free market…

This clown should be in a padded room.

Akzed on November 20, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Democrats ram a 2,700 page bill through Congress, write 20,000+ regulations based on that bill and have had 3+ years to get ready for the roll out but everything from the website failures to the young invincibles not signing on is the fault of bad vibes from the GOP.

If this is all it takes to make the centrally planned utopia to run off the rails maybe we shouldn’t have central plans.

gwelf on November 20, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Younger people should be scared shitless…..

Between ObamaCare, SS and MediCare – they are paying for stuff that they will never see…..

I tell my kids to get ready for Europe like taxes of 70% – 80% – they will be mice on a treadmill for the rest of their lives…..

Unless…….

redguy on November 20, 2013 at 9:27 AM

You can see the Left’s strategy here, trying to shift as much of the blame for the fiasco onto the GOP, but it[‘s not going to work.

changer1701 on November 20, 2013 at 9:28 AM

You know, this seems ridiculous, but since so many libs like Milbank believe in unicorns and rainbows, when you tell them, “there are no unicorns or rainbows”, they twist truth-telling and call it fear-mongering.

Didn’t Breitbart say “The truth isn’t mean, it’s just the truth” or something like that.

22044 on November 20, 2013 at 9:29 AM

The Democrats know that fixing a thing is not the most important part of solving a problem. Assigning the blame is the most important thing. If you can assign the blame to someone else the problem works for you. And why would you fix something that works for you? This is why we must keep pounding them on Obamacare. It is their problem, and if it’s their problem it’s not working for them, and they’ll have to get rid of it, because it cannot be fixed.

claudius on November 20, 2013 at 9:31 AM

This is sabotage, plain and simple

So… the terrorists have won?

Wouldn’t sabotaging the govt be like, a crime or something?

I can hear it now, “We cannot let abuse of the First Amendment by a few extremists to threaten the healthcare of an entire nation. Therefore…”

Akzed on November 20, 2013 at 9:31 AM

If the left can not fully shift the blame they share the blame. That is how generous and giving they are. Accepting responsibility for their actions never comes into play.

Grunt on November 20, 2013 at 9:31 AM

Anybody can view the profiles at healthcare.gov site.

http://weaselzippers.us/2013/11/19/wz-exclusive-see-some-of-the-first-users-on-healthcare-gov/#more-161517

workingclass artist on November 20, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Are Republicans sabotaging ObamaCare by frightening younger consumers?

Sorry, the left has a monopoly on fear mongering.

antipc on November 20, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Exactly.

Remember when Obama warned us about all those evil doctors who wanted to cut off your feet and cut out your tonsils just to make a quick buck?

gwelf on November 20, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Both sides speak of young adults as supposedly invincible. They’re strong enough not to need it, right?!

The Nerve on November 20, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Blame the gop.. yeah that’s gonna work
/

cmsinaz on November 20, 2013 at 9:34 AM

It sure has been fun watching the Democrat coalition implode.

Punchenko on November 20, 2013 at 9:34 AM

If they can frighten young and healthy people from joining the health-care exchanges, the exchanges will become expensive and unmanageable. This is sabotage, plain and simple

A “system” so easily destroyed is obviously not a good one. We should scrap it completely. What say you dana?

Lost in Jersey on November 20, 2013 at 9:35 AM

Oh goody, the manufactured blame is in full production! First Øbama blames Republicans for not being “sufficiently supportive.” Now Milbank blames the party that couldn’t influence young people without college educations to vote for its candidate in either ’08 or ’12 as “influencing young people” to flee a health insurance scam.
.
.
.
.
.
Yeah, I know that when I was 25, “health care insurance” was the first thing on my mind, night and day.

ExpressoBold on November 20, 2013 at 9:35 AM

People should naturally fear big government.

weaselyone on November 20, 2013 at 9:35 AM

Dana Milbank, useful tool for all Leftwing propaganda.

His notions are ridiculous and always have been…

But at essence, here we go, more of the DNC “it’s Republicans’ fault” line of lies.

The Left has no other ideas, it’s just “blame Republicans” whenever the Left is proven to be ghastly and deceitful, not to mention dysfunctional and antisocial.

It’s the Left’s standard retort: “Republicans are responsible for (name a Left ripoff here).”

Lourdes on November 20, 2013 at 9:35 AM

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford wants some of what Dana Milbank has been smoking.

rbj on November 20, 2013 at 9:38 AM

I hope Dana isn’t too dizzy.

NotCoach on November 20, 2013 at 9:39 AM

“This is nonsense on stilts”

Pretty much sums up the media with regards to Obama. Nice one Ed.

DanMan on November 20, 2013 at 9:40 AM

I think the yungins just noticed the Emperor ain’t got no clothes.

faol on November 20, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Which is worse: Republicans scaring them with the truth or Obama and the Democrats telling all their lies about ObamaCare?

albill on November 20, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Both sides speak of young adults as supposedly invincible. They’re strong enough not to need it, right?!

The Nerve on November 20, 2013 at 9:33 AM

It’s a choice, really. You make it based upon perceived need. If you are a young person who develops a “pre-existing condition” my understanding is you can get insurance at the next enrollment period. I am sure that most young people have other financial obligations more pressing. If they are under 26 they can live at home and have mommy and daddy pay into the system for them. If the Democrats could free themselves from legislating concepts and begin to think about details and both the short and long term implications of their broad utopian dreams they would not be in this mess.

DaveDief on November 20, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Are Republicans sabotaging ObamaCare

Naw – the Demorats are doing that just fine all by their lonesome.

There might be something interesting coming down the pipe today – from last night:

James O’Keefe ‏@JamesOKeefeIII
Might want to cancel your plans tomorrow, @Sebelius. It’s going to be a busy day. @Project_Veritas
Retweeted by Project Veritas

whatcat on November 20, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Ed Morrissey writes:

Thanks to the costs of the mandates, insurance companies have had to raise deductibles just to keep premiums within range of these younger, healthier consumers, too. Instead of a cheap, affordable plan that allowed young Americans to pay retail costs for occasional clinic visits but gave them solid coverage for rare catastrophic events, they now have to spend thousands of dollars a year for coverage that doesn’t kick in at all until after they spend an additional $4,000 out of pocket first.

And this is the calculation that anyone can make….

Indeed – we even built a tool that will tell you how big your Obamacare deductible cost gap is before you really get any meaningful benefit for having health insurance coverage.

ironman on November 20, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Demorats: “Here’s your filet mignon, America.”

Repubs: “Don’t eat it, it’s actually a shiite sandwich.”

Demorats: “Fine! It IS shiite, but it’s tasty shiite. SABOTAGE!”

Bishop on November 20, 2013 at 9:46 AM

It’s always the Kulaks’ fault.

gwelf on November 20, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Instead of killing the law, they are likely to make it more expensive to taxpayers.

The premise of this argument is delusional. Who wrote the law and passed it?

How can Republicans make the law more expensive without changing a single part of the law?

The law is going into effect as written for the most part. Everything that has been changed about the law (which makes it more expensive to taxpayers) has been done by Obama and Sebelius without any involvement from the legsilative branch.

Democrats have a law wholly written and passed by Democrats. They have a Democratic Administration overseeing the rollout of said law. Own it.

Rational young people are fully capable of making their healtcare and spending choices. Pointing out the reality to them is not fear mongering, it is pointing out reality.

Young people seemed perfectly able to resist the “fear-mongering” in 2012 when they re-elected Obama based on his healthcare promises. Just because they are faced with reality now, doesn’t mean Republicans can be blamed for pointing out the same thing all along.

Since 2010 and the passage of Obamacare, Republican messaging has not changed on the law. Can the Democrats say the same about their messaging?

weaselyone on November 20, 2013 at 9:48 AM

For the miscreants on the left, hearing the truth is hate speech or sabotage.

birdwatcher on November 20, 2013 at 9:50 AM

Demorats: “Here’s your filet mignon, America.”

Repubs: “Don’t eat it, it’s actually a shiite sandwich.”

Demorats: “Fine! It IS shiite, but it’s tasty shiite. SABOTAGE!”

Bishop on November 20, 2013 at 9:46 AM

hotair libtard: The Democrats wouldn’t have built a shiite sandwich if the GOP had gone along with it!

gwelf on November 20, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Great job on pointing out the real numbers and most likely scenario Ed. If auto insurance was run this way, how many people would skip the high monthly payment and simply pay for minor damage along the way, waiting until the car was totaled before buying insurance and not being penalized for their pre-existing demolition condition?

I guess young indestructibles will be tagged insufficiently patriotic by the Dems when they refuse to follow the plan of subsidizing older and wealthier Americans (along with all the cousin Pookies on the couch).

CitizenEgg on November 20, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Ed Morrissey writes:

Thanks to the costs of the mandates, insurance companies have had to raise deductibles just to keep premiums within range of these younger, healthier consumers, too. Instead of a cheap, affordable plan that allowed young Americans to pay retail costs for occasional clinic visits but gave them solid coverage for rare catastrophic events, they now have to spend thousands of dollars a year for coverage that doesn’t kick in at all until after they spend an additional $4,000 out of pocket first.

And this is the calculation that anyone can make.

Indeed – we even built a tool that anyone can use to calculate their Obamacare deductible cost gap – the amount their health care costs would have to be before they get any meaningful benefit for having health insurance coverage.

ironman on November 20, 2013 at 9:52 AM

The Republicans’ scary-movie strategy has some logic to it: If they can frighten young and healthy people from joining the health-care exchanges, the exchanges will become expensive and unmanageable. This is sabotage, plain and simple — much like the refusal by red-state governors to participate in setting up the exchanges in the first place.

Republicans are guilty of carrying out counter-revolutionary propaganda and incitement.

NotCoach on November 20, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Even the dumbest of younger people know the most basic math when it comes to money spending… The majority of the younger uninsured who are not eligible for Medicaid are going to pay 1% of their salary as a penalty than paying for the much more expensive Obamacare plan even with all the possible subsidies that they can get…

Example:

An uninsured younger person makes $ 40,000 a year… He is not eligible for Medicaid because he makes much more the 133% of the poverty line… His penalty for not buying Obamacare is 1% of his salary which is $ 400 a year… The cheapest and crappiest plan under Obamcare even will all the subsidies will cost him much more than $ 400 a year (at least $ 2500 after all possible subsidies) and it will have huge deductibles and huge copays for doctor visits… Thus even for the dumbest people it is not brainer that paying $ 400 a year will save them a lot of money versus buying the much more expensive Obamacare healthcare plan…

mnjg on November 20, 2013 at 9:53 AM

The Democrats know that fixing a thing is not the most important part of solving a problem. Assigning the blame is the most important thing.
claudius on November 20, 2013 at 9:31 AM

Yep. Yesterday, Obama was trying to blame Mitt Romney for Obamacare’s failures!

It’s everybody’s fault but the Dims who wrote it, rammed it through congress using all sorts of underhanded tricks, procedural chicanery, and outright bribery, and then the Dim president who signed it into law.

AZCoyote on November 20, 2013 at 9:53 AM

It’s as simple as this. Republican’s expect and even advise young people (and older, for that matter) to act in their rational economic self interest. Dem’s and Dana want and even advise them to act against their best interests.

True, fulfillment of Repub’s expectations will likely result in the failure of Obamacare that they predicted. But it is a result, not a goal.

Dana’s twisted thinking is the result of his own defensively motivated reasoning.

John E. on November 20, 2013 at 9:56 AM

I think its False Hope, that Team Hopey pushed upon the young-ins,
and not the GOP Death Spiral sumpins!!

canopfor on November 20, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Frightened or not, younger consumers should be pissed that they are being forced to pay for all that healthcare they clearly do not want or need. Especially young males who are being forced to pay for non-existent children and spouses.

This rather than fear is why younger consumers are not interested in buying Obamacare. Latest lie, BTW, seems to be that they always expected this to be the lagging group for enrollment.

Happy Nomad on November 20, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Counter-revolutionary sabotage!

Man the barricades!

Akzed on November 20, 2013 at 10:02 AM

Milbank dances all around this point, but he never once provides a rational reason for younger, healthier people to pay into this system by the thousands of dollars when most of them won’t get a single dollar in benefits from it.

Other than, they should pay more, because this is something that progressives have really, really wanted for decades now.

rightside on November 20, 2013 at 10:04 AM

if sabotage by frightening young consumers = telling the truth and providing them with facts to help them make wise decisions for themselves then yes.

Sabotage seems too strong a term though… how about “being neighborly”?

jhall2323 on November 20, 2013 at 10:11 AM

So Republicans are trying to sabotage a disaster?

Please proceed.

DamnCat on November 20, 2013 at 10:13 AM

…throw the Republicans in jail!

KOOLAID2 on November 20, 2013 at 10:14 AM

So after years of being the old, white, out of touch party, the GOP is now able to convince young people that the exchanges is scary?

Spliff Menendez on November 20, 2013 at 10:15 AM

This is sabotage, plain and simple — much like the refusal by red-state governors to participate in setting up the exchanges in the first place.

That is horse-puckey, and people like Millbank need to tone that down.

That’s the “Scary Movie” move right there – whipping up hatred.

Jeff Weimer on November 20, 2013 at 10:17 AM

I thought those PSAs put out by the Colorado group did a good job of mocking and scaring the bros and the hos, I mean the yutes, away from Obama-don’t-care.

Fallon on November 20, 2013 at 10:18 AM

This is nonsense on stilts, because it’s

Dana Milbank

Cleombrotus on November 20, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Milbank dances all around this point, but he never once provides a rational reason for younger, healthier people to pay into this system by the thousands of dollars when most of them won’t get a single dollar in benefits from it.

Other than, they should pay more, because this is something that progressives have really, really wanted for decades now.

rightside on November 20, 2013 at 10:04 AM

The WaPo comes down on the idea that Obamacare is a justifiable public policy where those who can “pay a little bit more” to help out those who cannot. In other words pure socialism. Milbank clearly wants to screw young males in particular so that Sandra Fluke doesn’t have to pay for birth control when somebody screws her. Milbank wants middle class people who have worked hard all their lives to pay thousands of more in healthcare so a welfare queen doesn’t have to worry about the cost of her next child by some baby daddy as she is looting the local Wal-Mart in the wake of the EBT system being down. Milbank fully supports the wealth redistribution aspects of Obamacare and is pissed off that young people might not be as willing to go along with Obamacare as he would like.

Happy Nomad on November 20, 2013 at 10:19 AM

You cannot bail out of a plane that you are not in.

The Obamacare problem is the cost of boarding, not the price of bailing. And that is on the suckers who designed this bill and not a single R was involved.

ajacksonian on November 20, 2013 at 10:20 AM

This clown should be in a padded room.
Akzed on November 20, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Ha! Wish I’d said that.

Cleombrotus on November 20, 2013 at 10:20 AM

Paying a $500 fine in order to avoid paying a $8000 tax would still chap my ass.

Blake on November 20, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Democrats had hoped to scare young people into buying the overpriced insurance on the exchanges. They want them all scared they are about to need several doctors appointments a month and no lifetime limits on coverage.

MayBee on November 20, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Their efforts could have the effect of turning Obamacare, which relies on private insurance and the free market, into just the sort of big-government entitlement Republicans were worried about in the first place.

It is mind-boggling how twisted and warped the view of reality as seen by the Left. What makes it even more mind-numbingly painful is that anyone on the left will tell you that business and CEOs have to be and should be regulated in order to maintain a level playing field, or something. So, they openly advocate and gleefully execute regulations and yet they will argue on the issue of markets from the premise that they are free!! Un-farking-believable!

beselfish on November 20, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Never heard of “nonsense on stilts”. I have now:

Jeremy Bentham (/ˈbɛnθəm/; 15 February 1748 OS – 6 June 1832) was a British philosopher, jurist, and social reformer. He is regarded as the founder of modern utilitarianism.

Bentham became a leading theorist in Anglo-American philosophy of law, and a political radical whose ideas influenced the development of welfarism. He advocated individual and economic freedom, the separation of church and state, freedom of expression, equal rights for women, the right to divorce, and the decriminalising of homosexual acts.[1] He called for the abolition of slavery, the abolition of the death penalty, and the abolition of physical punishment, including that of children.[2] He has also become known in recent years as an early advocate of animal rights.[3] Though strongly in favour of the extension of individual legal rights, he opposed the idea of natural law and natural rights, calling them “nonsense upon stilts”.[4]

Huh.

Fallon on November 20, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Most young people will see a doctor once or twice a year, which might cost them $500 or so rather than the $8,000 they’re facing in this newly mandated apparatus. (Even if they do get subsidies for the premiums, they don’t get subsidies on the higher deductibles they now face.)

-Ed Morrissey

I don’t think I’ve seen anyone make this point yet – you don’t get your much higher deductible subsidized.

gwelf on November 20, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Not entirely true. If your income is below a threshold of 2.5X poverty level yet above Medicaid levels, you will qualify in most counties for additional subsidies against deductibles and also copays.

slickwillie2001 on November 20, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Unfortunately for Obama…The youth can still read. Only 34% aged 18-29 get news from legacy media.

http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/189819/pew-tv-viewing-habit-grays-as-digital-news-consumption-tops-print-radio/

“Obama told everyone that if they liked their plan they could keep it — and then sent lawyers into the Supreme Court to argue that most plans would lose their grandfather status by 2013. From a Justice Department brief uncovered by Andrew McCarthy:

The [ACA’s] grandfathering provision’s incremental transition does not undermine the government’s interests in a significant way. [Citing, among other sources, the Federal Register.] Even under the grandfathering provision, it is projected that more group health plans will transition to the requirements under the regulations as time goes on. Defendants have estimated that a majority of group health plans will have lost their grandfather status by the end of 2013.

You already know the punch line, but I’ll say it anyway.

Next thing, you’re gonna tell me that Obama told the country this wasn’t a tax, and then sent lawyers into the Supreme Court to argue that it was a tax.

HEY-O!!!!….”

http://patterico.com/2013/11/19/not-so-breaking-news-obama-told-lawyers-to-argue-the-opposite-of-what-he-told-the-public-about-obamacare/

workingclass artist on November 20, 2013 at 10:28 AM

much like the refusal by red-state governors to participate in setting up the exchanges in the first place.

Dana’s a moron. The option to NOT create an exchange was written into the law. They are OBEYING the law, not sabotaging it.

CurtZHP on November 20, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Paying a $500 fine in order to avoid paying a $8000 tax would still chap my ass.

Blake on November 20, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Especially when Democrats told you it would be free. And that fine will triple over the coming years.

gwelf on November 20, 2013 at 10:28 AM

The WaPo comes down on the idea that Obamacare is a justifiable public policy where those who can “pay a little bit more” to help out those who cannot. In other words pure socialism. Milbank clearly wants to screw young males in particular so that Sandra Fluke doesn’t have to pay for birth control when somebody screws her. Milbank wants middle class people who have worked hard all their lives to pay thousands of more in healthcare so a welfare queen doesn’t have to worry about the cost of her next child by some baby daddy as she is looting the local Wal-Mart in the wake of the EBT system being down. Milbank fully supports the wealth redistribution aspects of Obamacare and is pissed off that young people might not be as willing to go along with Obamacare as he would like.

Happy Nomad on November 20, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Yes. We need to realize that the higher health insurance premiums are a new income tax, where the federal government has enlisted the insurers to collect the tax and redistribute the tax based on income.

The Democratics could never have pushed a new income tax through congress, so they did it through Obamacare.

slickwillie2001 on November 20, 2013 at 10:29 AM

As I have said on here before, this won’t hit most people until late Summer when they are still paying out of pocket with their deductibles. That is going to be about the same time people who get their insurance through their employer will start getting cancellation notices because their policy does not comply with O Care.

Some people who think they are safe (I am looking at some Fed Blue Cross policies) are not really safe and they are going to get a swift kick in the stomach when their plan gets cancelled because it doesn’t cover mental health

Johnnyreb on November 20, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Yes. We. Can.

Tsar of Earth on November 20, 2013 at 10:30 AM

More leftard projection. Millbank’s article itself is the scary movie scenario.

MisterElephant on November 20, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Who’s up for another socialist bribe…

“Giving All Americans a Basic Income Would End Poverty”

http://www.slate.com/blogs/business_insider/2013/11/17/american_basic_income_an_end_to_poverty.html

Because if it works in Switzerland…why not here?

http://www.article-3.com/how-switzerlands-basic-income-proposal-could-both-help-and-hurt-the-united-states-913007

Bread & Circuses…It’s what’s for Breakfast

workingclass artist on November 20, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Paying a $500 fine in order to avoid paying a $8000 tax would still chap my ass.

Blake on November 20, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Especially when Democrats told you it would be free. And that fine will triple over the coming years.

gwelf on November 20, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Yep!

States will increase taxes to cover the bill as well once the federales backout.

workingclass artist on November 20, 2013 at 10:35 AM

It’s not sabatage if young people are frightened by the truth. The alternative is to lie, even if it’s by ommission. All these problems (and more) were predicted at its inception, but now that people are actually experiencing them, it speaks for itself.

lea on November 20, 2013 at 10:35 AM

If you have to spend $4,000 on insurance and then another $4,000 on deductibles before seeing the first benefit from the insurance plan, why buy it at all? Why not just pay retail on clinic visits?

Self-insured, or self-pay, is very rarely mentioned. Obama only mentions it in the context of, if you don’t have insurance, then you’re a burden on others. As if, if you don’t have insurance, then others pay for you. But what about paying for health care as you go, out of pocket? If you’re afraid of going bankrupt, then get a catastrophic, bare bones plan.

“No health insurance” doesn’t equate to “being a burden on others”. In fact, it’s ObamaCare’s scheme of subsidies and insurance for everyone that creates a burden on others. If the poor and indigent get health insurance under ObamaCare, then aren’t others paying for them?

This is all such a screwup, but in my mind, the biggest screwup is how Obama et al define and use words to try to sell this. It’s a huge tangled web of lies.

Paul-Cincy on November 20, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Since 2010 and the passage of Obamacare, Republican messaging has not changed on the law. Can the Democrats say the same about their messaging?

weaselyone on November 20, 2013 at 9:48 AM

Brilliant observation Wesasely, that point would make a great ad.

JusDreamin on November 20, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Dana Milbank: Freedom is sabotage. Government needs the power to do what it will unfettered by the whims of the public or the opposition party.

PackerBronco on November 20, 2013 at 10:42 AM

No, young consumers are correctly frightened by what Obamacare will do to their wallets, especially in Obama’s economy.

Obamacare is based on a completely counterintuitive premise: Young adults will want to purchase more insurance than they need and pay much more than they did under the old system for healthcare they will not use in order to keep the premiums for older people and those with preexisting conditions.

This was never going to happen.

As I have explained to many a Prog, the community rating requirement in Obamacare prohibits insurance companies from charging older and sicker people more than 3 times what they bill their healthy customers. Keep in mind that the Young Invincibles consume $1 in healthcare whilst people in their 60s, for example, consume $6. Thus, under Obamacare, those that consume $6 in healthcare can be charged no more than three times that those that consume only $1. Since insurance companies would quickly go out of business if they continued to charge the Young Invincibles $1 and cut those who consume $6 in healthcare per year only $3.

Everyone with any sense understood this. They also realised what the result would be. Of course the Young Invincibles were going to have to pay more so that the older and sicker, including those with preexisting conditions, could pay less.

The problem with this scheme, however, is that is disregards human behaviour. It may work in theory, but it doesn’t work in practise. Young people are not going to rush out to spend their few dollars to subsidise people, who are generally better off than they are. Obamacare was ALWAYS going to increase premiums for a large swath of the American population, including those that work at small businesses, who aren’t even subject to the employer mandate.

This is especially true considering the fact that Obamacare doesn’t actually attack the main problem with healthcare: the cost…well, outside of Medicare/Medicaid and the IAPB anyway. Competition would reduce costs, but Obamacare doesn’t do that, especially in less populated areas where ‘choice and competition’ means, as an East German apparatchik might have said, ‘you can have the black Trabant or the black Trabant.’ In many areas, there is only one carrier. Even when there are more than one carrier, there is no real competition.

Finally, if I understand the issue correctly, the Obamacare ‘subsidies’ are actually tax credits, which means that someone entitled to government assistance doesn’t receive it until she files her tax return. This would require the ‘subsidised’ person to still come up with the full premium – out-of-pocket – before she sees a dime. If a person couldn’t afford for a ‘substandard’ policy before Obamacare, how will she be able to pay the premiums on an Obamacare-compliant policy? In other words, if she couldn’t make a $150 payment per month, how will she be able to pay a $300 premium even if she gets tax credits? Obamacare still requires her to come up with $1,800 more per year when she couldn’t afford the $1,800 for the pre-Obamacare policy.

How many people, who actually understand all of this, are going to be flocking to purchase health insurance? Probably a lot less than will be needed for Obamacare to succeed. Sure, many Americans will purchase health insurance and comply with the mandate, but what else are they supposed to do? Go without health insurance? Pay 1% (then 2%, then…) of their income in penalties and roll the bones that they don’t get sick? Even if they do purchase Obamacare insurance policies that doesn’t mean that they will come to ‘love’ Obamacare…no more than people, who are forced to use elevators, come to love elevator music. They are a captive audience. Yet, this ‘captive audience’ will still lack those that cannot afford health insurance.

How does the Obama administration feel about those being priced out of the market? Just look at what Jay Carney said about the single mom, who Obama cited as an Obamacare ‘success’ story in his remarks in the Rose Garden a few weeks ago. She was so excited about getting health insurance…until she found out that she didn’t qualify for subsidies. Now, as before, she cannot afford health insurance and the administration’s response is: ‘The White House is certainly as sorry as we can be that Jessica can’t afford it, but that the law is still doing plenty of good.’ That isn’t exactly a ‘success’ story and shows the callousness of Obamacare.

Resist We Much on November 20, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Dana’s a moron. The option to NOT create an exchange was written into the law. They are OBEYING the law, not sabotaging it.

CurtZHP on November 20, 2013 at 10:28 AM

They need to be more flexible in how they enforce the law; just like the Lightbringer.

PackerBronco on November 20, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Reading this gives me recurring mixed feelings. Spidey senses are tingling.

1. I don’t think even one-percent of the sheeple have absorbed the high premium/deductible reality yet – especially the deductible.

2. However it falls apart, I think we will indeed ALL be paying more for less. By one means or another. The crash will result in scorched earth.

Does Lloyds of London write schadenfreude policies?

Tsar of Earth on November 20, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Their efforts could have the effect of turning Obamacare, which relies on private insurance and the free market, into just the sort of big-government entitlement Republicans were worried about in the first place.

It’s already a big government entitlement program. Milbank does a nice job here of trying to make it seem as if it is a free market program but when private insurance companies are told exactly what products they can offer then it is “private insurance” and “free market” in name only.

JohnnyL on November 20, 2013 at 10:49 AM

If you have to spend $4,000 on insurance and then another $4,000 on deductibles before seeing the first benefit from the insurance plan, why buy it at all? Why not just pay retail on clinic visits?

Self-insured, or self-pay, is very rarely mentioned. Obama only mentions it in the context of, if you don’t have insurance, then you’re a burden on others. As if, if you don’t have insurance, then others pay for you. But what about paying for health care as you go, out of pocket? If you’re afraid of going bankrupt, then get a catastrophic, bare bones plan.

“No health insurance” doesn’t equate to “being a burden on others”. In fact, it’s ObamaCare’s scheme of subsidies and insurance for everyone that creates a burden on others. If the poor and indigent get health insurance under ObamaCare, then aren’t others paying for them?

This is all such a screwup, but in my mind, the biggest screwup is how Obama et al define and use words to try to sell this. It’s a huge tangled web of lies.

Paul-Cincy on November 20, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Some interesting options here: http://theselfpaypatient.com/

The option of non-Obamacare short-term health insurance also seems to be still available: http://www.ehealthinsurance.com/short-term-health-insurance

slickwillie2001 on November 20, 2013 at 10:50 AM

Resist We Much on November 20, 2013 at 10:44 AM

The young paying for the old. And this is on top of the crushing debt we’ve put on the backs of young people, which Obama himself acknowledged as a danger in his 2006 Senate floor speech against raising the debt limit. A few months ago, Bill Clinton said it’s not going to work unless they get a lot of young, healthy people into the system. That was a “teaching moment” for me.

Paul-Cincy on November 20, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Alright, I’ll admit it. I do want it to fail. It’s antithetical to everything I believe about govt’s role. I’ll encourage my representatives to undermine it at every turn. My belief is that it could destroy America.

Why should I get defensive when Dana accuses me of exactly what I’m trying to do? Let’s own it.

jdpaz on November 20, 2013 at 10:53 AM

If they aren’t scared, they damned well should be. Obamacare is all about getting people like them to volunteer to overpay for their coverage to subsidize others.

MJBrutus on November 20, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Alot of these younger folks would qualify for Medicaid anyway, and those who wouldn’t, typically don’t have enough in assets to truly frighten them into buying coverage.

What’s stupid here is that this was NEVER going to work. Everything we’ve seen has been entirely predictable. We told them all along that Obamacare would be a disaster and we told them why. But they wanted to dismiss all that as partisanship. And still trying by the looks of it.

Milbank is an idiot. I honestly don’t understand why anyone pays him a salary for such twaddle. There are REAL reasons why the young and healthy don’t want this plan, and as long as Democrats refuse to get their heads out of their hindquarters and see them, Obamacare is going to continue to circle the drain. It’s quite handy for those of us who want this thing gone, that we can always count on them to stick to their delusions and put their hatred of the GOP first and foremost.

Murf76 on November 20, 2013 at 10:57 AM

This is sabotage, plain and simple — much like the refusal by red-state governors to participate in setting up the exchanges in the first place.

How can it be sabotage if the law permits those actions?

Also, not to defend the law, but I thought consumers under thirty years old could buy a catastrophic plan rather than a comprehensive plan. Am I wrong? I imagine the premiums on those plans are way higher than a similar plan before the law but lower than the comprehensive plans.

Kafir on November 20, 2013 at 10:57 AM

The truths of this major CF are scary enough.
Just blame anyone shedding light on them, since that equals sabotage.
I get it.

pambi on November 20, 2013 at 10:58 AM

The Ds and obama are killing the youngsters’ future and present.

“Most of the benefits of the new program will go to the poor and less-well-off and most of the costs will be born by the well off. Neither is true of Medicare or Social Security. When the new law was passed it was hailed by the New York Times as the most redistributive policy in a generation, and they were right. It was not sold as being markedly redistributive, of course, but that is how it was designed and will operate. This does not mean it is a bad policy or doomed to fail. But it does mean that it was bound to be caught up in controversy and heated debate.”

Wake up youngsters. You’re being scromed royally by the Ds.

Schadenfreude on November 20, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Some interesting options here: http://theselfpaypatient.com/

slickwillie2001 on November 20, 2013 at 10:50 AM

Great blog! Thanks. If they’d put the same effort into free internet resources to help people make good health care decisions as they did into ObamaCare … oh my gosh. THAT would improve people’s health and outlook. Help people help themselves. Don’t do it for them.

Paul-Cincy on November 20, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Also, not to defend the law, but I thought consumers under thirty years old could buy a catastrophic plan rather than a comprehensive plan. Am I wrong? I imagine the premiums on those plans are way higher than a similar plan before the law but lower than the comprehensive plans.

Kafir on November 20, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Yes, they can take the subsidy which is based on Silver and use it to buy a sub-Bronze Catastrophic-only plan. To qualify for Catastrophic-only you must not be over 30 years old. This is probably how some Americans you hear about in the news are getting insurance for less than $100/month.

This is exactly the kind of plan that the Democratics attack regularly as ‘substandard’.

slickwillie2001 on November 20, 2013 at 11:11 AM

Most young people will see a doctor once or twice a year, which might cost them $500 or so rather than the $8,000 they’re facing in this newly mandated apparatus. (Even if they do get subsidies for the premiums, they don’t get subsidies on the higher deductibles they now face.)

-Ed Morrissey

I don’t think I’ve seen anyone make this point yet – you don’t get your much higher deductible subsidized.

gwelf on November 20, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Another ‘undiscovered’ matter is the logical disconnect consumers will see: The increased premium with high deductible plans is opposite their experience with other insurance coverage (ie. home and auto). Those coverages offer lower premiums with higher deductibles.

{lib heads imploding}

socalcon on November 20, 2013 at 11:24 AM

This is nonsense on stilts, because it assumes that prices remained stable for these consumers in the first place. In fact, prices have already skyrocketed, and for younger consumers in particular.

“But they’re getting a much better plan.” ~ Obama

socalcon on November 20, 2013 at 11:26 AM

As several commentators have noted, one of the ironies of both 2008 and 2012 elections has been the youth vote: the I-tablet generation has been voting for the party of the US Post Office.

Beyond the sticker shock, the greater danger to a young person is the security breaches.

matthew8787 on November 20, 2013 at 11:27 AM

If the Republicans were smart (I know….) they would use some of the (unintended??) consequences of Obamacare to highlight some of these points…

- Market based solutions (purchasing across state lines, allowing catastrophic coverage, etc) would decrease the cost of insurance

- Health Care Savings plans would provide a cushion against high deductibles, and would be YOUR MONEY

- Paying cash / using $$ from a HSA would have additional benefits, such as reducing costs to providers for insurance processing, making costs more transparent, and introducing competition for day-to-day health purchases

Add to that some kind of proposals to help those with pre-existing conditions and low incomes, and people may actually listen now…

azblondie on November 20, 2013 at 11:29 AM

It may work in theory, but it doesn’t work in practise

I hate this freaking, little refrain. If the point of theory is to model reality, how the hell does it work in theory of it doesn’t work in practice? It doesn’t, folks.

Sorry. Lefty, ignorance and intellectual dishonesty make me feel like I need to straighten out every specious bromide and false premise that invades our rhetorical lexicon.

beselfish on November 20, 2013 at 11:37 AM

RINO in Name Only on November 20, 2013 at 10:33 AM

You know where we’re coming from. :P

I wonder how many trolls might read what Akzed and I posted and nod their heads in agreement.

NotCoach on November 20, 2013 at 11:44 AM

“But they’re getting a much better plan.” ~ Obama

socalcon on November 20, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Obtuse as a point of reason. Just, wow!

There is no reasoning with this type of mind. You cannot sabotage an idea that comes from this type of mind- they are, at the outset or inevitably, set on that course all their own.

beselfish on November 20, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Hysterical. Dana is trying to scare Republicans into supporting Obamacide by telling them that their attitude will just make things worse.

Oh wait, that’s not what he’s doing. He’s setting the stage to blame R’s when the monstrosity falls apart.

I’m an Indy resistor to O-care, but I’ll gladly take the blame for the failure if that will help Dana “feel” better.

Who writes a law so weak that simple bitching about it can bring it down?

Meremortal on November 20, 2013 at 11:52 AM

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