“They’re compelling us to enter into the marketplace,” Carvin replied, but “they’re prohibiting us from buying the only economically sensible product that we would want, catastrophic insurance.” The individual mandate is much more about conscripting young Americans into the health care market in order to subsidize the health care costs of older Americans than it is about fixing the so-called “free rider” problem.
Even while it hits young Americans’ pocketbooks, it will surely hurt their job prospects as well. Obamacare not only forces individuals to buy insurance, it also forces companies with 50 or more employees to provide their workers with health insurance or pay a $3,000 per-employee tax. “It can literally shut many restaurants down,” Paul Demos, owner of Demos’ Restaurants in Nashville, told the Nashville Business Journal in June. The restaurateur is considering cutting hours for employees and closing restaurants to make up for the extra $500,000 he’ll have to pay. For employers who already provide health insurance, Obamacare’s “essential health benefits” requirements and the provision that all people must be charged the same for premiums regardless of pre-existing conditions will drive up health care costs, which will cut into employees’ wages and hinder entrepreneurs’ abilities to grow their businesses.