Obamacare Delay: Millennials Can — and Will — Kill the Law
The Obama administration has recently made the decision to delay its requirement that businesses with over 50 employees provide their employees with health care insurance. This is just the latest piece of bad news from the president's landmark overhaul of the health care industry. This move comes on the heels of a bigger revelation that if young, healthy millennials don't sign up in the exchanges, Obamacare will never have the funds necessary to make the program viable.
Obamacare relies on millennials to buy insurance in the health care exchanges in order to subsidize those with pre-existing medical conditions that the insurance companies are now bound to pay for. Obamacare has fallen into the same trap most government programs fall into. There is no substitute for people looking out for their own best interest, and in this instance young people still do not want insurance. Now more than ever, young people are getting sticker premium shock and will not be joining into the exchanges if they can pay the fine, which is much less than what they would pay for insurance. According to Time Magazine, roughly 2.7 million people between 18-35 will have to sign up for the exchange for the program to be solvent.
The actions of the Obama administration accompanied with the numbers coming out about health insurance makes me believe this 2.7 million number will be difficult to achieve. The administration has reached out to the National Football League in an effort to help market the law, likely to young people. The NFL has made the decision not to promote the controversial law. As of right now one in four individuals that qualifies for Medicaid has not enrolled. In addition, the rate of those under 30 who decline to buy health insurance is almost one in three, even when insurance is offered by their employer. We don't buy health insurance when it's "free," and we don't buy it for 27 cents on the dollar now before the premium hikes will kick in.
Speaking of those premium hikes let's examine the cost on millennials Obamacare will have. Take California as our test subject. California is one of the three states (along with Texas and Florida) where a third of those needing to enroll in Obamacare are located. This is according to Simas's data which is cited in the above Time article. Insurance premiums in California for some will be raised up to 146%. The cheapest policy in the California exchange will be $1,944 while the penalty for not having insurance will be $95 or 1% of taxable income. Which millennial do you know with $1,700 extra lying around? I don't know too many.
Obamacare remains unpopular, with 49% of Americans viewing the law as a bad idea according to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Americans have no idea what the law is or how it will affect them years removed from the laws passage. What we do know is that 2.7 million millennials with no health issues will have to sacrifice $1,700 a year for something they will receive little to no benefit in having. The Supreme Court may have failed the American people with their Obamacare decision, but luckily people will always act in their best interest. Knowing that, I am confident millennials will allow Obamacare to fail not just for their own economic best interest, but for the nation's as well.