From the earliest days of Obamacare, the president and his supporters touted the bill as being a godsend for American youths. In addition to mandating that insurance companies keep young people on their parents’ plans until the age of twenty-six, the bill mandates coverage for persons with preexisting conditions and mandatory coverage for contraception in employee insurance packages. Despite the inherently immoral nature of these rights-violating policies, many youths supported the president and his healthcare law – and still do – believing they would benefit from them. Yet when one looks further into the nature of the bill, it becomes clear that healthy young people were never anything but Obamacare’s chief targets for exploitation.
In a freer medical system without the existing liabilities and restrictions, many young people, if not most, would be unlikely to subscribe to medical insurance. Simply put: it would be a bad investment. They are healthy and, in the industrialized world, face little risk of catastrophic illness. So in a period of their lives in which they are separating economic ties with their parents and starting independent lives, many youths would find that it better serves their self-interests in the short-term to forgo health insurance and reallocate their incomes toward a new home, a vehicle, etc. – or, for the more forward thinking among them, toward savings from which they could draw if they did face a medical emergency but that they could just as well put toward any number of other worthwhile causes throughout their lives.
This is precisely the sort of rational behavior that Obamacare is designed to prevent. Because of the immense costs that mandatory contraceptive coverage, mandatory coverage for preexisting conditions, and other stipulations within the law will necessarily cause, Obamacare cannot operate without droves of young, healthy Americans fronting the costs incurred by the rest. The law requires individuals who have no interest in purchasing health insurance to do so anyway. It needs people who will pay into the system without frequently withdrawing from it – not unlike existing entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security. Hence the individual mandate.
The individual mandate is the linchpin of the entire law. It requires all Americans to either purchase healthcare insurance or suffer punition in the form of a fine. Without the mandate, the inevitable collapse of Obamacare’s regulatory regime would occur in the form of one swift implosion, rather than progressive crumbling over many years. Though the law itself will still increase (and has increased) the cost of healthcare and health insurance premiums – as its Romneycare predecessor has already done in Massachusetts – the compulsive sacrifice of the incomes of young people to fund the healthcare of others will stave off such increases, at least temporarily.
And this is not some esoteric secret carefully guarded by the administration from youths. Indeed, it is openly discussed – even advocated. As noted by the Los Angeles Times, “The math of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act works only if millions of healthy consumers start paying into the system to offset the bills racked up by sicker people who can’t be turned away.” When one twenty-one-year-old Georgia native managed to navigate the crashes and glitches plaguing Obamacare’s online insurance exchanges, he was greeted with a proverbial hero’s welcome by pro-Obamacare forces. Politico reported that “pro-Obamacare forces are holding him up as the promise of the health law and administration officials are giving him shout-outs on Twitter,” all while neglecting to note that the young man is a volunteer for Organizing for America – a group created to forward the president’s policy agenda.*
The administration’s jubilation is but a reflection of their desperation. When the penalty for opting out of Obamacare can be “less than $100 in some cases” according to the same Los Angeles Times article, they have to convince young people to enroll in Obamacare, or else the futility of the whole system will be abundantly clear in unpleasantly short order.
As is the case with so many of the constituencies of which President Obama has pretended himself to be the champion, Barack Obama is no ally of youths. He is not concerned about increasing their freedom to pursue their own interests in the marketplace. Rather, he insists on placing the costs of his disastrous healthcare bill – which he will defend above all else, even funding the federal government itself – on the backs of this nation’s young people, who are already sacrificing their incomes into social programs from which few of them even believe they will ever draw.
The Obama Administration needs the sacrifice of healthy young people to fund its impending train wreck – but again, need is not a blank check to exact from the lives of others. Young people should not accept this continued exploitation of their youth, their health, and their income – no, not even $100 of it – to benefit the immoral social programs of our nihilist president. In the twenty-first century, the pervading intellectual culture of the American university is one of sacrifice and socialism, making the capitalists the counterculture of academia. In the 1960s, the Left had their own counterculture mantra for students. With regards to Obamacare, it is time capitalists had their own: “Turn on, tune in, and opt out.”
UPDATE, Oct. 4, 2013, 4:43pm: According to the Washington Post, a follow-up interview with the Georgia native in question confirmed that he did not, in fact, enroll in an Obamacare insurance plan, only further exemplifying the left’s willingness to forgo factual accuracy in the name of propagandizing their policies.