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Why Millennials Are Obamacare's Last Hope
Fiscal Times ^ | 06/28/2013 | By JOSH BOAK

Posted on 06/28/2013 6:36:25 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

The Obama administration must convince 2.7 million millennials to buy health insurance, or the new government exchanges being set up to provide coverage could prove to be a bust.

Because these younger Americans are usually healthy and rarely rack up huge medical bills, their monthly premiums would make it cheaper for the exchanges to affordably insure 4.3 million other Americans. The government has scrounged up $1.25 billion to market Obamacare—a must-win campaign that could make or break the 2010 law to expand coverage.

It’s a gamble on a generation raised by reality TV, fed with Lunchables, stuck with student loans, and addicted to the Internet. At stake is medical treatment for millions of Americans, the outcome of the 2014 congressional election, and President Obama’s legacy. "Whatever happened in the past 3-1/2 years, this is the most important moment now because we're no longer dealing in abstraction,” Obama senior adviser David Simas, who led opinion research for the president’s 2012 campaign, told Reuters this month.

Congressional Republicans are betting on a chaotic disaster ahead of next year’s political races, while the administration and its private sector partners are scrambling to begin enrolling 18-to-35-year-olds in October. Simply opening the exchanges within the next five months could be an obstacle to the marketing campaign.

The Government Accountability Office said last week that the administration has been slow to figure out government subsidies based on income levels to offset some of the price of insurance. It still has to vet the health plans being offered. And the GAO noted that it has yet to fully train the “navigators” who will help people enroll in exchanges that the federal government plans to operate in 34 states.

The latest Census figures indicate that there are 19.1 million uninsured Americans in this age bracket, but that number steadily shrinks when other factors are considered.

Out of that total, about 6 million have incomes so close to the poverty line that they would qualify for Medicaid. That leaves about 9 million with incomes below $45,960 who would receive government subsidies under Obamacare to offset the cost of purchasing insurance through an exchange.

What further complicates all of this is that Obamacare provides many 18 to 35 year-olds with options besides the exchanges.

They could forgo coverage and pay a relatively modest tax penalty next year of no more than 1 percent of their income. Or, they could buy theoretically less expensive “catastrophic” coverage that is not part of the exchange risk pool. Or, they could remain on their parents’ health insurance plan until the age of 26.

These are all “really great” choices for young adults, said Adrianna McIntyre, a graduate student in public health at the University of Michigan who co-founded Project Millennial to analyze Obamacare.

But McIntyre receives her insurance via her parents’ coverage and cautioned, “I don’t think people are going to be sitting there and thinking for the good of the country, maybe I should enroll in the exchange, instead of staying on my parents’ plan.”

If you exclude millennials with children—who would likely face stiff medical bills—and those who can stay on their parents’ coverage, the number of “eligible” young adults for the exchanges drops to 4 million, according to research by McIntyre and Josh Fangmeier, a consultant for the Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation in Ann Arbor, MI.

A target group as low as 4 million means the Obama administration must convince 67.5 percent of them to buy insurance from an exchange.

According to a poll released last week by the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than 71 percent of young adults said it was “very important to them personally” to have health insurance.

That’s an encouraging sign, said Jen Mishory, deputy director of the group Young Invincibles, who added that “basic literacy” about how insurance works with deductibles and co-pays is low.

“There is a significant number of people for whom this will be the first access to coverage,” said Mishory, whose organization is training people to talk about Obamacare options for young adults.

But even if millennials understand the benefits of having health coverage, price will be a major factor in determining whether they enroll and early estimates are giving a sense of the likely costs and the possible rate shock.

Actuaries at the consulting firm Oliver Wyman projected earlier this year that a young adult earning $33,510 would currently pay about $2,400 in premiums for health insurance. They estimated that the cost would jump under an Obamacare exchange by $783 to $3,183 a year, or about 9.5 percent of their income.

That estimate received a reality check last month from Covered California, the exchange in that state. It received premium estimates for the Obamacare “silver” plan that would cost $2,532 a year. That is a slight $132 increase at the income level.

But for those with incomes just too high to qualify for Medicaid—$16,755—the exchange would offer a lot in savings to the status quo. Government subsidies would reduce the annual premium costs to just $528, a savings of almost $1,900 from the current costs.

Polling by the conservative American Action Forum indicates that the key will involve keeping rate shock below 20 percent. If premium costs increase by that much, 35 percent of those surveyed with insurance said they would drop their coverage.

This suggests that the key to getting millennials to enroll will be keeping any price hikes below 20 percent. “The economics lesson is simple,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, in a YouTube video posted by the group. “Consumers have a price point. And when young Americans see their premiums rise, more and more will stop buying.”


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: millenials; obamacare
I'm not sure about this... Millenials are just recently graduating from college -- WITH HUGE DEBT and a LOUSY JOB MARKET. How are they going to take having to pay MORE into the healthcare system?
1 posted on 06/28/2013 6:36:25 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

I know someone who works for H+R Block and she told me lots of her clients plan on dropping coverage and just paying the (small) fine, and that’s here in Maryland.

Its not political its practical unless you work for the government or a contractor for them like Booze Allen eic.


2 posted on 06/28/2013 6:40:26 AM PDT by sickoflibs (To GOP : Any path to US citizenship IS putting them ahead in line. Stop lying about your position.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I thought you had no choice but to purchase health insurance. If you did not then you get the penality (tax). So why the push to encourage people to sign up, let the law run its course.


3 posted on 06/28/2013 6:41:34 AM PDT by RBW in PA
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To: SeekAndFind

lets see... do I continue to pay $12,000 a year in family premiums, or $3,000 ‘fine’(tax)

hmmmm....


4 posted on 06/28/2013 6:45:22 AM PDT by Mr. K (There are lies, damned lies, statistics, and democrat talking points.)
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To: SeekAndFind
That's ain't happening.

They wanted free health care because they thought it would be free as in speech.

They never intended to actually pay for it, and they aren't going to start now.

5 posted on 06/28/2013 6:46:19 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Who could have known that one day professional wrestling would be less fake than professional news?)
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To: RBW in PA
I thought you had no choice but to purchase health insurance. If you did not then you get the penality (tax). So why the push to encourage people to sign up, let the law run its course.

Because the penalty is a pittance in the early years. It's like the threat of getting a $2 ticket for speeding. The problem is that insurers have a maximum age differential they can legally charge which is a lot less than the actual differential cost, so the healthy young will be expected to pay much more than their expected medical costs. Unless they have a preexisting medical condition it makes sense for them to just pay the fine.

6 posted on 06/28/2013 6:50:31 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (This message has been recorded but not approved by Obama's StasiNet. Read it at your peril.)
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To: KarlInOhio
The DummyFeds came up with a piss poor rate design.
7 posted on 06/28/2013 7:04:25 AM PDT by Chgogal (Obama "hung the SEALs out to dry, basically exposed them like a set of dog balls..." CMH)
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To: SeekAndFind

I am predicting right now, on June 28, 2013...if this effort looks to be going south, Obama is going to forgive their student loans in a last-ditch effort to put enough cash in their pockets to buy health policies.


8 posted on 06/28/2013 7:10:39 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: SeekAndFind

This whole thing is going to fall flat on it’s face. The next line that will come out of the pols in Washington will be “we just need to let the government handle it.”

It remains to be seen whether people will buy that line, but I think that that is the medium-term plan.


9 posted on 06/28/2013 7:10:42 AM PDT by JamesP81
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To: SeekAndFind
It’s a gamble on a generation raised by reality TV, fed with Lunchables, stuck with student loans, and addicted to the Internet indoctrinated by the public school systems, MTV and with attention spans of lab rats.
10 posted on 06/28/2013 7:13:09 AM PDT by The Sons of Liberty (Jesus, Please Save America!)
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To: The Sons of Liberty

Millennials use YouTube not MTV. That was my generation (X), my son is a millennial.


11 posted on 06/28/2013 7:32:58 AM PDT by RockyMtnMan
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To: JamesP81

The “solution” offered will be to go back to the “public option”.

Of course no private sector insurer will be able to compete with what they offer, so they’ll all die off within a few years.


12 posted on 06/28/2013 7:33:17 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: SeekAndFind
Why Millennials Are Obamacare's Last Hope

Why not. Through the unprecedented and catastrophic deficit he's making them pay for everything else.

13 posted on 06/28/2013 7:34:04 AM PDT by newheart (The worst thing the Left ever did was to convince the world it was not a religion.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Health care is not and never was the goal of Ubamacare, or anything else Ubama does.

The goal is to overwhelm the system, cause it to collapse, murder hundreds of millions in the name of keeping order, then live in a Walden paradise free of unnecessary peasants and their property rights.

14 posted on 06/28/2013 7:39:09 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Who could have known that one day professional wrestling would be less fake than professional news?)
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To: SeekAndFind

One gigantic redistribution of wealth. Nothing more, nothing less.


15 posted on 06/28/2013 7:43:22 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (_.. ._. .. _. _._ __ ___ ._. . ___ ..._ ._ ._.. _ .. _. .)
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To: SeekAndFind

I recently talked to a former student, 24, she graduated from American University in DC a year ago. Has a degree in International Relations, and over a hundred thousand in debt. Voted for Obama twice. Has two part time jobs, lives with her parents.

She looks like she just got hit by a truck. “Is this how you thought it would be”...I asked...”no” she said...”I thought Obama would create jobs for everybody like me”.

Live and learn.


16 posted on 06/28/2013 7:43:30 AM PDT by kjo (+)
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To: Buckeye McFrog
Obama is going to forgive their student loans in a last-ditch effort to put enough cash in their pockets to buy health policies.

Let's play that out. Loans are forgiven but current and imminent college students cry "but what about us!? We have/will have loans too, they're just not due yet!" So the government is faced with a choice: make college tuition a new entitlement OR tell these students "tough luck, you missed the freebie". Which do you think Obama would choose? I say "entitlement".

Fast forward a few years. Fueled by free government money college tuition has skyrocketed even more than the previous ridiculous levels (which had been fueled by plentiful government but not free government money. Enrollments are up since it's free now but poor and minority students who went to inner city schools and thus can't read cursive and are otherwise totally unprepared for college are not getting accepted into schools. In essence they are barred from accessing this government benefit. Out of control costs and unequal access to a government program, the government decides it must act. The government of course doesn't care about costs so it focuses on equal access.

So it creates three new regulations. Failure to adhere to these rules will result in the government barring the school from participation in government assistance programs in any way (i.e. no students with government assistance)

All public universities will accept these restrictions so the money continues to flow. A handful of the prestigious private schools (Yale, Harvard, Stanford, etc) will say "no thanks", will maintain high admission standards and challenging curriculum but only the super rich will be able to attend. The elite will go there, everyone else will have essentially four more years of high school. Over time the NEA will lobby for and get new rules regulating the number of students per teacher, lowering the rigor of the core curriculum, establishment of tenure for these teachers, removal of objective grades in favor of subjective assessments of outcomes. The result of this will be that the cost per student of a college education in the USA will be tens of times more expensive than anywhere else in the world yet within 20 years it will be common for college graduates to be functionally illiterate.

And the leftist destruction of the education system in America will finally be complete.

17 posted on 06/28/2013 7:52:29 AM PDT by pepsi_junkie (Who is John Galt?)
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To: SeekAndFind

Even if the millenials get the 0-care exchange insurance, they will still need to find a doctor and pay co-pays and deductibles for care. For occasional routine care, self pay would probably be cheaper. Furthermore, in the event of catastrophic occurrence, most young people would be better off declaring bankruptcy, if needed, and going on Medicaid. After all, these people are normally underwater or with few asserts at this stage.
The best thing conservatives could do now is to educate millenials on the personal financial consequences of 0-care. Even the commited Lefties and low info voters will get this. The 0-care supporters are counting on branding to sell this crap. That might work with a tangible product, but it will be hard for them to convince cash strapped young people to part with their money for a concept.


18 posted on 06/28/2013 8:07:25 AM PDT by grumpygresh (Democrats delenda est.)
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To: kjo

RE: , she graduated from American University in DC a year ago. Has a degree in International Relations

Why not apply to be a diplomat? That’s what she’s trained for.

One caveat, she has to move to DC. But then why not? That’s one of the booming areas in America.


19 posted on 06/28/2013 8:13:19 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: kjo

I made a mistake. On second thought -— SHE *IS* FAMILIAR WITH DC. American University is right smack in that city.


20 posted on 06/28/2013 8:14:30 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: kjo
She looks like she just got hit by a truck. “Is this how you thought it would be”...I asked...”no” she said...”I thought Obama would create jobs for everybody like me”

I am curious about the young college students/grads. Are they cool with a system that impoverishes others as long as they can get good jobs?
21 posted on 06/28/2013 8:21:41 AM PDT by BJ1
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To: Buckeye McFrog
Obama is going to forgive their student loans in a last-ditch effort to put enough cash in their pockets to buy health policies.

Which would place the burden on paying for their entire tuition, right back on taxpayers like you and me. Gotta admit, it IS his style...

22 posted on 06/28/2013 8:23:31 AM PDT by Lou L (Health "insurance" is NOT the same as health "care")
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To: BJ1

Like other former students...I find that they are liberal because it’s cool. They don’t seem to give a lot of thought to outcomes of progressive policies. Another young lady, also 24, who holds five part time jobs (different jobs on different days), said that she voted for Obama the first time “because everybody on campus was for him”. Voted for Romney last year. She has a degree in graphic design from Michigan State and owes over fifty thousand for her education.

These kids are going to remain kids well into their thirties. Living with their folks, on their parents’ health insurance. The last young lady said that if she doesn’t find a real job soon she doesn’t know what she will do after age 26...except go on Obama care.

I can’t help but feel sorry for them.


23 posted on 06/28/2013 8:36:12 AM PDT by kjo (+)
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To: kjo
“I thought Obama would create jobs for everybody like me”.

Speechless.Obama is an evil man who ranks up there with the narcissist dictators of our time who prey on brain dead citizens.

24 posted on 06/28/2013 8:38:20 AM PDT by shanover (...To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.-S.Adams)
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To: BJ1

I am curious about the young college students/grads. Are they cool with a system that impoverishes others as long as they can get good jobs?

My guess is they are “cool” with it. They see others who have more should give more to the poor. They see it as a matter of simple fairness.

Most don’t seem to be able to think very well.


25 posted on 06/28/2013 10:21:22 AM PDT by kjo (+I am curious about the young college students/grads. Are they cool with a system that impoverishes)
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To: SeekAndFind

Plus with the recent scandal of the NSA bugging into their tech also does not bode well for Obama, but yes, the economy is going to be a HUGH factor.


26 posted on 06/28/2013 10:35:30 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: RockyMtnMan
Millennials use YouTube not MTV. That was my generation (X), my son is a millennial.

Makes me feel really old, I'm a boomer.

27 posted on 06/28/2013 11:56:47 AM PDT by The Sons of Liberty (Jesus, Please Save America!)
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