YOUTH TO OBAMACARE: NOT INTERESTED
This past week Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government Institute of Politics released a national survey of Young Americans’ opinions of the Obama Administration and, in particular, of Obamacare. Both get a failing grade according to a majority of those surveyed. Indeed, the President has failed as a pitch man to convince most young healthy Americans who he desperately needs to sign up that Obamacare is in their best interests.
The Institute of Politics interviewed 2,089 young Americans aged 18 to 29. 56% of those 18 to 24 disapproved of the President’s job performance. 53% of those 25 to 29 disapproved; 47% say they would recall President Obama if that were possible.
The President’s overall approval rating has dropped 11 percentage points among college students to a dismal 39%. Moreover, only 14% of those surveyed believed the country headed in the right direction, while 49% thought it headed in the wrong direction.
A whopping 57% of young Americans aged 18 to 29 said that they disapproved of Obamacare. Of vital import, less than one-in-four under age 30 said that they would definitely or probably enroll in Obamacare insurance through the exchanges. A staggering 47% under age 20 said they will probably not enroll or will definitely not enroll.
Perhaps most striking of all, among the 22 percent of people under 30 who do not have health insurance right now, fully two-thirds said that they are not likely to sign up for Obamacare!
The young Americans surveyed also think Obamacare will harm the nation. By a margin of two-to-one those surveyed under age 30 thought the quality of health care would worsen under Obamacare, and 51% said they expected their health care costs would increase under Obamacare.
Obamacare is attractive to those who have been uninsured in the past and who suffer from chronic or acute and costly disease. Over time, it is likely that those individuals will sign up for the program, but the program will require ever greater federal involvement and financing unless young people who are healthy sign-up in droves. That is not likely to happen because young people appreciate that they can save the money required for monthly premiums while healthy without suffering a denial insurance later when they become ill. Obamacare forbids denial of insurance based on pre-existing conditions, inviting young people to game the system and save thousands of dollars annually (even if they must pay a tax for not signing up).
So long as at least one house of Congress remains in Republican hands, Democrats intent on a one-payer, socialized medicine system will not be able to resurrect Obamacare from private economic disaster. The only way out for Obama is to substantially increase subsidies and promised benefits or replace failing private insurers with public insurance. In short, the only way Obamacare can exist in the long run is if the government takes over the health insurance market. So long as the present mandate system is in place, the economic disconnect between government planners’ demands and private market forces will make Obamacare falter again and again, resulting in huge increases in deductibles and premiums and an ever larger pool of uninsured individuals.
Come September, October, and November of 2014, private employers will begin kicking employees off of employer based health insurance plans, as the mandated coverages and increases in health insurance costs drive employers beyond their financial limits. Those people will necessarily increase the number of sign-ups through the exchanges, but will remain bitter because they will be getting less insurance for more money.
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While a government take over of the health insurance market is the only way to keep the wretched and medical services destructive Obamacare in place, the dislocations in private insurance already caused and to come will create an ideal circumstance for Republican victories in the 2014 mid-terms and, possibly, in the 2016 general elections.
As public interest in ending Obamacare continues to rise, Republicans who advocate repeal will continue to square off against those who advocate reform. Ultimately, if Obamacare is repealed it will likely also be replaced with certain scaled down legal requirements affecting health insurance. A free market in health insurance and health care continues to elude those in power and will only come about if the American people experience an ideological apotheosis, coming to appreciate that their best interests in quality care, affordability, and access are best served by removing all government mandates on health care and health insurance.
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