Why Young People Are Shunning Obamacare

We all understand that if Obamacare has any chance of working (and it probably doesn’t), then younger, healthier people must sign up in droves to help offset the higher medical costs for the older, sicker population. Yet we also know that young people are avoiding Obamacare like the plague. And why not?

Having failed to convince the general public that Obamacare is a good thing, President Obama has recently been trying to sell his healthcare plan to young people. Despite the administration spending a fortune promoting Obamacare, enlisting celebrities to endorse it and telling moms to get their kids to sign up, most young people disapprove of the law.

obamacare-youngA recent Harvard University Institute of Politics survey of 18-29 year-olds found that 57% oppose Obamacare. Remember that this age group voted overwhelmingly to re-elect Obama last year. Yet now, with the actual implementation of Obamacare, they are having serious second thoughts.

The fact that 57% of young people oppose Obamacare is a significant finding, especially given that those up to age 26 are now allowed to be covered under their parents’ health insurance plans. That is, if the parents are lucky enough to have health coverage.

In any event, more than half of young people now believe that Obamacare will increase their healthcare costs, and a plurality (40%) believe it will hurt the quality of care. Just 18% say it will boost quality. Even worse for Obama, less than a third of uninsured young people say they plan to enroll in Obamacare, and a mere 13% say they “definitely” will do so.

These people are right to hold these views. They are increasingly coming to realize that Obamacare amounts to a massive transfer of wealth from young to old. At its most basic, Obamacare inflates the cost of insurance for young and healthy people so it can subsidize premiums for the older and sicker.

It does so by not allowing insurance companies to charge the old more than three times what they charge the young, or to vary premiums based on health status. But Obamacare goes further – providing hefty taxpayer subsidies for older people, but little for the young.

A recent study by The 2017 Project, a conservative think tank, looked at actual Obamacare premiums in the 50 largest counties in the US, and calculated the subsidies available for various age and income groups. The results are startling!

The average subsidy for a 21-year-old who makes $30,000 will be $454, the study found. But a 61 year-old in the same income bracket will get a subsidy of $4,018. As a result, the 21-year-old will pay an average $1,635 in premiums for the Bronze Plan – the cheapest plan – while the 61-year-old will pay just $867. Stop and let those two numbers sink in for a moment.

Given that the penalty for not buying insurance will be as low as $95 next year, is it any wonder why the young aren’t rushing to sign up for Obamacare? As noted at the beginning, if they stay away, Obamacare is doomed.

Maybe Obama can use his vast powers of persuasion to convince them to sign up, despite Obamacare’s glaring unfairness. But I wouldn’t count on it. Today’s young people are very tech savvy, and the Obamacare website is very “old-school” so we’re told, and not very secure. Young people are very sensitive to such things.

Even worse, the Harvard survey also finds that the under-30 crowd doesn’t like Obama any more, either. Just 41% approve of the job he’s doing, down from 52% just before the 2012 election. Most disapprove of his handling of the economy (61%), healthcare (61%) and the deficit (66%). Only 14% think the country is headed in the right direction.

More than half of those ages 18-24 would recall Obama if they could. This is a stunning turnaround! Young people are finally realizing that President Obama is a far-left ideologue who has sold them out for political purposes.

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Posted 12-17-2013 4:32 PM by Gary D. Halbert
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