There is no question that the youth vote was key to President Barack Obama’s re-election in 2012. However, there was a time when this voting bloc went for Republican presidential candidates. Just after the election, Jason Riley noted at the Wall Street Journal that both Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush actually won the youth vote. Riley also points out that “George W. Bush lost young voters to John Kerry by only 9 points and lost them to Al Gore in 2000 by less than that.”
But according to CNN’s exit poll, 60% of voters between the ages of 18 to 29 cast their ballot for Obama, highlighting that the problems that young voters have with Republicans.
Taking out the fact the White House has mortgaged the future of young Americans thanks to the deficits and debt he’s racked up over the last four years, Obama is really about to hurt one of his base groups, as noted Ben Smith earlier this week:
State and federal officials and the health-care industry are currently preparing to implement two specific ObamaCare provisions taking effect on Jan. 1, 2014, acting on this politically perverse principle of shifting resources from your supporters to your opponents. The first is the individual mandate, which aims to force the young, childless, and healthy — “Young Invincibles,” as they are said to think of themselves — to buy health insurance, even if they think (and even perhaps make a rational, if risky, bet) that they don’t need it.
The second is a lesser-known policy to limit the practices of charging different premiums to different ages, known as age-rating. Many states currently set a limit on this difference, often mandating that an old person shouldn’t pay a premium more than five times a younger person’s, even if she’s expected to use more than five times as much health care. The ObamaCare provision kicking in next Jan. 1 would reduce that ratio to three-to-one, essentially limiting what the elderly pay in part by forcing young people to carry a larger share of the total cost of national health care.
Back in December, a study by Oliver Wyman showed that young people between the ages of 21 to 29 who purchase individual policies could see a 42% premium hike due to ObamaCare’s age-rating restrictions (originally covered here), which is what Smith is pointing to in the excerpt above.
Writing at FreedomWorks’ blog, Kristina Ribali also explains that health savings accounts (HSA), which were an affordable means of high-deductible coverage for young Americans, have been crippled by ObamaCare and “will also see a drastic rise in premiums, and will most likely cost the young more in premiums than they’ll use in services.”
Though young voters expressed a commitment to Obama at the ballot box, the joke is ultimately on them.