By G. Keith Smith, M.D., of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
The Unaffordable Care Act, or UCA, is about to become even more unaffordable, thanks to the unpredicted wisdom of the younger generation. Recognizing yet another Ponzi scheme in UCA, the vast majority of young people (a group the central planners had counted on to keep UCA premiums low by buying expensive "insurance" and filing few or no claims) have thumbed their nose at this "insurance."
The premiums for older and sicker patients would have been moderated by the participation of the younger and healthier patients, as they would have paid significantly more in premium dollars than they would have extracted in health benefits. Incredibly, the government has actually used this as a marketing ploy to the young, exhorting them to pay their fair share to help the others out.
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I suppose it never occurred to the Obamacrats that young people have grown weary of the Medicare and Social Security taxes taken from their paychecks, together representing amounts that frequently dwarf the federal withholding amount. Young people are already subsidizing the health care of the Medicare beneficiaries as well as their retirement, knowing that there is little likelihood of receiving their money back from these bankrupt Ponzi schemes. I guess no one figured the young didn't want to participate in yet another wealth-transfer scheme.
I don't believe the Obamacrats care though, as the lack of participation of the young only serves to drive the premiums for others through the roof, the original intent of UCA. The unaffordability of "insurance" will therefore, bring "single payer" as a system even closer to reality. In short, the central planners rigged the game so they would "win" either way. Fortunately for all of us, the central planners have miscalculated, once again. Let me explain.
Most of the young will be paying their own medical bills without insurance, and this will serve to lower the price of the care they are purchasing, as people who are spending their own money tend to comparison shop and demand upfront pricing. I have no doubt that the care they will be purchasing will cost them significantly less than the "insurance" they have foregone. There will certainly be the rare injuries or illnesses that will bankrupt the uninsured young, but keep in mind that more than three-quarters of all medical bankruptcies afflict those who have insurance. The health-care consumer market that is emerging to satisfy these patients as "customers" will lower prices much more powerfully than the gang in D.C. can inflate health-care prices.
The pushback against the government takeover of health care has occurred on many fronts. Some physicians are pushing back by adopting third-party-free practices. More and more medical facilities are adopting our model of price transparency. Some governors have rejected the Medicaid expansion of UCA, a move that Justice Robert's ruling made possible and one that makes the workability of the government takeover more unlikely. These efforts are laudable, for sure, but the lack of participation of the young in this latest Ponzi scheme represents the "withdrawal of consent" that has characterized many successful yet peaceful revolutions.
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I predict that future tyrants will have even more difficulty with this young, liberty-minded generation. That so many young people view the regime as illegitimate fills me with hope for the future.
Dr. G. Keith Smith is a board certified anesthesiologist in private practice since 1990. In 1997, he co-founded The Surgery Center of Oklahoma, an outpatient surgery center in Oklahoma City, Okla., owned by 40 of the top physicians and surgeons in central Oklahoma. Dr. Smith serves as the medical director, CEO and managing partner while maintaining an active anesthesia practice.