By Matts Wilcoxen, YAF Chapter Chairman at Principia Upper School At least the Obama administration understands that thanks to its economic policies, young people will most likely be reliant on their parents until at least age 26. With young people staying on their parents’ food, phone, utility, and gas bills until well after college, it’s perfectly logical—if not expected—that they should also stay on their parents healthcare plan. Regardless of its blatant unconstitutionality, young people should be outraged at the practical, destructive implications of Obamacare. Touted by the Obama administration as a bill that championed youth, ensured coverage, and lowered costs, the facts tell an unsurprisingly different story. It’s been a little more than two years since Obama passed his signature piece of legislation, and by now the Supreme Court has secretly decided its fate. If the law stands, young people will be amongst the hardest hit. Costs will rise, coverage will decline, and parental dependence will increase.
A key component of the law, which states that young people will be allowed to stay on their parents healthcare plan until age 26 is especially revealing. While the administration attempted to sell the provision as an economic relief to young people, it is important that young people read between the lines and determine the real message behind the law: as a young person attempting to enter the job market, you probably won’t be able to afford healthcare until well after college.
The reason? Not only is the job market shrinking, but for young people especially, health costs will be rising. The Affordable Healthcare Act is anything but affordable for young Americans.
ObamaCare is Subsidized by Young Americans Should the Supreme Court and the American people allow the law to be implemented, premiums for young people will skyrocket. A recent Heritage Foundation study found that 18-24 year olds will see an 18-24% increase in premiums, even after tax subsidies. This drastic increase is due to several factors. Firstly, as most recipients of socialized medicine will tell you, government run healthcare is innately inefficient and costly. Secondly, the natural variation in healthcare costs as you age is 5:1, but the maximum variation permitted under Obamacare is 3:1. The result? Artificially low prices for senior citizens and drastically inflated prices for young people. Such significantly higher prices will undoubtedly end up discouraging young, healthy Americans from purchasing insurance. The increased cost of insurance will far outweigh any fine the government imposes. These increased costs will be immediately apparent to young people, however there is another, equally disturbing cost to the law. Initial estimates from the administration indicated that the first 10 years of Obamacare would cost the government approximately $1 trillion dollars. More recent estimates already suggest that the real cost will be at least $1.76 trillion dollars. The real cost is already beating initial estimates by 76%, and much of the law has yet to be implemented. Young people simply cannot afford the costs of socialized medicine, and the administration knows it. Your parents might foot the bill until age 26, but who’s going to cover the $1.76 trillion dollar bill in 2020 and beyond? Matts Wilcoxen is the Young Americans for Freedom chapter chairman at Principia Upper School.