- Don’t I have to buy into Obamacare? Isn’t it illegal to not buy Obamacare insurance?
- No. There is a relatively small tax associated with not buying government-approved health insurance, but you can pay that small penalty and buy a health insurance plan that meets your individual needs.
For example, in Virginia right now there are 87 health care plans sold on the individual market — the cheapest one being $40.84 per month. Not all of those plans would meet the standards to be sold in a government “exchange,” but almost all of them would be a better deal for young Virginians. It’s like that across the country.
- Why would I turn down government assistance to buy health care? It’ll be cheaper (or free) if I get it from the government, right?
- No. It will be more expensive and it will certainly not be free. Because Obamacare is structured in a manner that transfers wealth from the young to the old, contains many coverage mandates, and caps deductibles (how much you pay out of pocket before the insurance company foots the bill), your premiums (monthly insurance payments) will be much higher than they are now in the individual marketplace. In fact, premiums are expected to rise for the average 18-29 year old by an average of 169%.
- Even if rates rise, doesn’t Obamacare provide assistance to help people cover the increased costs?
- Yes, but many people will not be eligible and it still won’t be enough to make it a good deal for you. And forget about even comparing it if you consider how much you’re going to shell out in taxes to pay for this new program.
If you receive health insurance through your employer, you will not be generally eligible for any subsidies unless your premiums exceed 9.5% of your adjusted taxable income. Anyone making less than poverty level ($11,490/individual, $23,550/family of 4) will not be eligible for any subsidies under Obamacare because they will be under Medicaid. If the individual/family resides in a state that chose not to expand Medicaid, they will receive no subsidies. The government will offer tax subsidies for eligible Americans with health insurance from 125% to 400% of the poverty rate. This means that a 27-year-old making $34,000/year will receive $0 in subsidies, but still pay an average rate of 169% more for insurance).
Keep in mind that this is all basically a shell game. Obamacare is spending trillions of dollars to offer insurance rife with government mandates that is more expensive than what’s already provided, and then taxing people further to provide these subsidies.
- I want everyone in America to have health care. Even if I have to pay more, am I not just paying more to take care of my fellow citizens?
- You’re paying a lot more to offer precious little help to your fellow citizens. Obamacare still leaves 30 million uninsured by 2022 while spending more than $2 trillion over 10 years. And that doesn’t even count the increased monthly insurance payments you’ll make in the form of higher premiums.
The real problem is that the cost of health care has gotten out of control, pricing normal people out of the market. Insurance cannot cost less than the care it covers, and costs will not go down unless everyone is empowered as consumers to shop around for competitive prices. Unfortunately, Obamacare further blurs the lines between health care and health insurance, distorting the market and increasing costs even more.
If you want to help more people access affordable care, basic health procedures should work more like Lasik eye surgery, which is transparently priced, and often paid for out of pocket. Because doctors compete for patients and middleman interference is limited, the costs of this procedure have decreased by 70% in the past decade. In contrast, the cost of health care in general in the United States has increased at more than double the rate of inflation over the past two decades.
- Isn’t healthier people covering costs for the sick how insurance works?
- No. Insurance is about protecting individuals against unexpected and costly events. Obamacare “insurance” isn’t like real insurance. It’s government-run health care that forces young people to pay for older generations, as opposed to insurance based on risk (like auto insurance) or a self-insurance program (like life insurance).
Under a real insurance program, you’d be able to save money by making better decisions: such as living a healthier lifestyle and shopping around for more economical health services.
- Even if Obamacare is a generational transfer of wealth, won’t young people benefit from it in the long-run?
- Unfortunately, no. The Millennial generation (those of us that are currently 18-29) will not benefit from Obamacare the same way current older Americans will. Chris Conover from the American Enterprise Institute mathematically tested the claim that increased costs are OK now because young people will reap the benefits later, and found it to be false. Young Americans today will never break even and will always be net losers under Obamacare. As Conover’s calculations prove, the lifetime cost of premiums for young Americans under Obamacare are higher than what they would pay under market-driven rates. This essentially makes Obamacare an excise tax of 18% for the average 18 year old purchasing health insurance through its exchanges.
- Doesn’t Obamacare help people with pre-existing conditions?
- There’s no doubt that some young people who have a serious condition but do not have employer-based insurance will find it easier to find and afford insurance. But 96 percent of young Americans do not have a chronic condition, and Obamacare will drive up the cost of health care so much that very few people, even those with pre-existing conditions, will benefit from the law.
The best way to deal with the pre-existing conditions issue isn’t to issue a government mandate that essentially says insurance companies can’t calculate for risk (which is, fundamentally, how insurance works) but to allow creativity in the process. As John Cochrane from the Cato Institute explained:
“A truly effective insurance policy would combine coverage for this year’s expenses with the right to buy insurance in the future at a set price. Today, employer-based group coverage provides the former but, crucially, not the latter. A “guaranteed renewable” individual insurance contract is the simplest way to deliver both. Once you sign up, you can keep insurance for life, and your premiums do not rise if you get sicker. Term life insurance, for example, is fully guaranteed renewable. Individual health insurance is mostly so. And insurers are getting more creative. UnitedHealth now lets you buy the right to future insurance–insurance against developing a pre-existing condition.”
- I don’t like Obamacare, but I support a single payer system. What’s your position on that?
- We do not think that more government is the solution. But we’re glad to work with you on opposing Obamacare. This entire scheme is a huge handout to corporate interests — massive insurance companies, hospitals and drug companies. Big government propping up big business isn’t OK.
Hopefully, we can convince you that a health care system based on freedom and competition will lead to more health care coverage and better quality care than a single-payer system. But let’s have that debate without lining the pockets of big business at young Americans’ expense.