Young adults have been the most enthusiastic Obama supporters. They identify with his youthful appearance. They like his personality, his style and his confidence. They liked his catchy campaign slogan: “hope and change.” After all, everyone needs hope. As for the change, few could tell you what that change actually meant, but what the heck. It didn’t seem to matter.
In 2008, Generation Y turned out in droves to elect this charismatic man president and again, in 2012, though in somewhat lesser numbers.
Therefore, Obama just assumed he could lead these Millennials down the garden path to his health-care exchanges. It was, in fact, a given that our young people would sign up for Obamacare. It will not work without their participation. They must participate or else … or else what?
There is no or else! The unwillingness of our young people to go along with his plan to reduce costs for older, sicker, more affluent Americas by having these Millennials pay two to three times their fair share was something Obama never could have imagined. Obama and his policy wonks, who have no real-world experience, have no fallback position. Everything depends on Obama’s ability to lure Gen Y into this Ponzi scheme.
Thus far all of the attention has been directed to the website glitches, but once the dust settles, Obama Inc. is in for a rude awaking.
Much of the rhetoric that was used to pass Obamacare centered around the 40 million or so uninsured. This was largely overblown. For sure, some who waited to buy health insurance until they were sick were faced with higher premiums, but most could buy it. Some of the uninsured were simply changing jobs and were briefly uninsured, but a very large portion of the uninsured were, surprise, surprise, the young.
It was a simple matter of economics: Most young people are healthy. Outside of an occasional case of the sniffles, they don’t need to see a doc. Therefore, they prefer to spend their limited incomes on a new cars, stereos, cool apartments, etc. They see themselves as invincible. They worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.
So how are you going to get this group to spend even MORE money than before on something they rarely need?
What if a Millennial has an accident or finds he or she has a serious medical problem that needs treatment? What then? Most will run the numbers and the odds and simply decide to pay the fine. It just makes sense.
Just how much money can be saved by paying the fine of $95 or 1 percent of one’s income? The National Center for Policy Analysis ran the numbers and discovered that there are about 4.3 million single 18-30-year-olds who do not have children and would be eligible for the health exchanges. Of that number, half would save about $500 by avoiding the exchanges. Almost as many would save $1,000.
Ironically, Obama has made it more attractive than ever to try to beat the odds by not buying insurance. If you should get sick, just wait until the next open enrollment period and sign up. Thanks to Obamacare, you can no longer be penalized for having a pre-existing condition, so what have you got to lose? What a deal!
But not so fast: The wait for the next enrollment period could be as long as six months.
When our young people run these odds they will find them still to be in their favor. If illness strikes, in all likelihood one could be four months, three months or only one month away from the next sign up. Most surgeries can be postponed for a few months. It’s the same with treatment. Under some existing health plans, it takes that long to get to the right specialist, so it’s no big deal.
But what if it is a big deal? What if it’s an emergency? What’s the downside for a 20 to 30-year-old? They have few, if any, assets. Nothing really to lose. Declare bankruptcy. There is plenty of time to start over.
This administration seems perplexed that our young people are a little slow to drink Obama’s Kool-Aid this time around. He tried to make it more attractive by sweetening the mix with subsidies. However, in most cases, these subsidies will not offset the cost of the new mandates such as free routine care, mandatory mental health care and drug abuse coverage. This has made it prohibitively expensive for those just starting out in life, which not only is bitterly unfair, it’s impossible to swallow.