ObamaCare Mocks Youthful Idealism

Back in 2012, President Obama gave a speech in Roanoke, Virginia wherein he uttered some now famous (or infamous, depending on your perspective) words:

…look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else.  Let me tell you something—there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business—you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.

Covered less — although not that much less in conservative and libertarian circles — was another statement he made in the same speech: his proposition that the wealthy “pay a little bit more” in taxes to “give something back”.

Now, given that it’s not irrational to suspect that a great many of those “wealthy” — by this administration’s account a year or so before the Virginia speech as those making $250K a year or more — are older than, say, 30, it is remarkable/ridiculous that ObamaCare is offering those same older Americans a subsidy for buying into ObamaCare — and asking the young to pay for it. Conservative Intelligence Briefing recounts a Business Insider piece profiling Butch Matthews, a 61-year-old retiree who admittedly has some assets “saved up,” and who has decided to sign up for ObamaCare to take advantage of the subsidy he gets because he has no income:

For every person like Matthews who signs up for Obamacare, [some unspecified number of] young people need to sign up as well to balance out the risk to the insurers, lest future premiums rise unsustainably at taxpayers’ and income-earning health insurance customers’ expense. Young people won’t get a free ride like Matthews because nearly all of them have earned income to report. So far, we know their premiums will be much higher for young people in most states, and in many cases they’ll pay more than they would currently even after getting a subsidy.

David Freddoso uses this anecdote to explain that ObamaCare is doomed because no young person in their right mind would sign up to pay more than they do now for healthcare, particularly because they (unlike the older and “wealthy”) have no assets saved from a time when the economy was presumably much better.

And that’s true, prompting many reasonable and very smart people to criticize the GOP showdown on ObamaCare, insisting that the program itself should be allowed to go forward and fail all on its own.

If the ACA is, as conservatives believe, as unpleasant in potential effects as it is impossible to implement, conservatives should allow what Lincoln called “the silent artillery of time” to destroy it.

This is a valid argument; just as valid as the argument that the GOP push-back shines a critical spotlight on the failings of legislation sold like a panacea for all that ails the healthcare sector.

No matter which argument makes sense to anyone hoping to avoid the predicted economic distress that comes with full implementation of the Affordable Care Act, one thing is certain and conservatives and libertarians would do well to use every opportunity to point it out:

Youth of America: you were lied to.


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