Thursday, June 06, 2013


Will Wilkinson, writing for the Economist, looks at the likelihood of young people being willing to sign up for Obamacare:
So, yes: if you are older, but too young for Medicare, or if you have pre-existing conditions, you're very probably going to do better buying an individual plan under Obamacare. And, yes: if you are healthy, young and shopping on the individual market for insurance, Obamacare certainly means you will pay more. Obamacare's champions like to take the edge off this fact by disparaging the basic level of insurance provided by inexpensive catastrophic policies. As Mr Krugman puts it, "these plans are cheap not just because they’re only available to the very healthy but because they don’t provide much insurance". Which is to say, the young and healthy will experience some "rate shock" at the Obamacare exchange not only because they will be subsidising those with a much higher cost of care, but also because they will be required to purchase more coverage than they might want or need.

Nobody actually disagrees about any of these facts, as far as I can tell. So why not be frank about the fact that Obamacare is going to stick it to the young and healthy on the individual market?
Considering we were told we'll have to pass the bill to see what's in it, being frank hasn't been a primary selling point up to now. We're now approaching the time where it will no longer be possible to hide that reality.


Bike Bubba said...

It's worth noting that the prospective penalty this year for not having coverage--$95 to $285 this year--are quite a bit smaller than the rate increases due to Obamacare, which are at least 32% for young people, or about $400/year. One of the other provisions in the health insurance deform act is that the young will pay at least 32% of what the old do, which of course will cause premiums to skyrocket for the young.


Anonymous said...

not really following your premise here: Who ever said that some people, especialy the young and healthy, were not going to pay more? Who is not being frank about that? I must have missed something.
I am very much a fan of Obamacare. (I would have preferred single-payer, but the political reality was such that you take it in its current form and let single-payer evolve). For the life of me, I can't remember ever saying that the young and healthy were not going to pay more. And I can't think of any serious policy wonk who didn't openly acknowledge that.

I do remember a lot of Conservatives claiming that Obama had passed this law to buy young peoples votes. He was buying off young voters by guaranteeing that they would have health insurance through their parents till age 26.

Now you are al concerned that a few of them might have to pay a little more for their care.

So which is it? Are you upset that a 25 year old with a decent income might lose some beer money? Or that a young kid living at home still has health care?


Mr. D said...

So which is it? Are you upset that a 25 year old with a decent income might lose some beer money? Or that a young kid living at home still has health care?

No, I'm far more concerned about this -- for the scheme to work, people need to pay into the system but won't. And by the way, the fine structure isn't going to work, either. But thanks for playing.