We all knew when the Affordable Care Act (A.K.A. “Obamacare”) was passed in the middle of the night, without one single Republican vote, that it was only going to become a bureaucratic horror story for most Americans. After all, what good can come out of bill that was shoved down our throats while we were being told, “We have to pass it to find out what’s in it”?
Sure, Obamacare has indeed, helped some people obtain healthcare coverage. Yet, it has come at the great expense of others, particularly, young Americans. Not only can many not keep their doctors and preferred health coverage as President Obama promised, they have also seen their premiums skyrocket.
As National Review’s Diana Furchtgott-Roth & Jared Meyer explain:
“Young people have no way out of this minefield. Either they must buy expensive coverage for services they do not need, or they must pay a fine for refusing to buy insurance under the “individual mandate.” No matter which way young people turn, the ACA exacts a toll on their pocketbooks.
This is especially true since the law artificially holds down premiums for older people and raises the price for the young. Since insurance companies are not allowed to charge older people more than three times as much as younger people (a provision known as “modified community rating”), the insurance companies have no choice but to pass the health-care costs of older people on to the young in the form of higher premiums. This is a major factor behind the low number of young people who have signed up for insurance under the ACA.”
For many, premiums for new plans have increased significantly from their pre-Obamacare rate. While both plans cover services many young people want, the new plans also include services they do not need, such as: maternity care, mental-health coverage, pediatric dental care, and substance-abuse treatment. Many young people are now stuck paying more for coverage that is not very useful to them.
Furchtgott-Roth & Meyer argue, “The pre-Obamacare status quo in the health-insurance market was not perfect, but Democrats have made matters far worse, especially for the youth.”
Ideally, the Supreme Court would throw out ACA this summer, or lawmakers would simply repeal it (wishful thinking, we know) so we can start over with patient-centered, free-market solutions to our greatest healthcare concerns. First of all, Americans should not be forced to buy coverage they do not want or need. Secondly, an ideal healthcare plan would increase competition in the health-insurance market by allowing people to buy insurance across state lines. Tax credits or deductions should also be offered to allow people to buy any insurance plan that suits them with pre-tax dollars.
As the National Review also suggests, “Until steps such as these are taken, the war against America’s youth will only accelerate.”