Sometimes the news just makes me laugh.
Apparently, the young and healthy are not clamoring for ObamaCare. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported today that only one quarter of 18 to 34 year olds who need to sign up for ObamaCare are actually doing it. (To see the news release, click here.)
This 25 percent only meets 18 percent necessary to make ObamaCare work. Meanwhile, one-third of the 2.2 million who signed up are 55 to 64 years old.
In other words and to no surprise, high risk people who will cost more to cover are signing up faster than the “low risk” younger crowd. The younger generation is also smaller than this age group, which represents part of the heavily populated baby boomer generation.
From the insurance perspective, this is just another “I told you” moment. Convincing the young and healthy to buy health care coverage has always been tough. Meanwhile, the “adverse risk” group continues to grow as the American waistline expands.
When I look back to my own experience, I know there was no way
I could have afforded the Affordable Care Act when I was 22…
Insurance experts pointed to past experience and actuarial charts to show the costs of coverage. They knew it would cost Americans more – both collectively and individually – in taxes and fees. So it is no surprise that 79 percent of the nearly 2.2 million who managed to get signed up requested financial assistance, according to the HHS news release.
I think about today’s young adults. Many are burdened with student loans that mirror the cost of a car payment. They are having a hard time finding work, even if they earn advanced degrees. They face the highest taxes in U.S. history and, without a mortgage, lack much relief from tax deductions.
When I look back to my own experience, I know there was no way I could have afforded the Affordable Care Act when I was 22 and fresh out of college. I came from a lower middle working class background. My dad loaded trucks for a living. Mom was a sales clerk at Sears. To get through college, I worked and borrowed. I was the first in my family to earn a college degree.
My first job was with the state of Ohio’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, which Thank God, provided very affordable health care. It was hard enough for me to pay the pre-25 year-old premium for car insurance or pay taxes without deductions. I was driving a beater (well, actually a cool one –a ’77 Cutlass 442 with a 350-V8 engine, but I am digressing…oh, I still miss that car!)– paying for a modest one-bedroom apartment in German Village alone with my 8 percent interest student loans and the costs of just getting started in life. I didn’t live with my parents and they really did not have money to help. In my day, successful people did not sponge off their parents or the government.
But now I laugh until I cry, realizing that the Obama behind the care never really faced the financial struggles that most of us do. And he will probably never have to get ObamaCare either.