Skip to comments.Young Liberal: As Much As I Support Obamacare, I Just Can't Afford It
Posted on 01/18/2014 4:03:19 AM PST by Kaslin
David Kurtz of the lefty website TPM -- to his credit -- published an email he received from a young reader living in New York City. The 32-year-old correspondent wrote that much to his chagrin as an ardent backer of the president and his unpopular healthcare law, he's unable to afford its price tag. He suggests that his personal situation exemplifies the broader problems the program will have attracting the participation of young, healthy people:
I'm a 32 year-old healthy male that wants, but can't afford, Obamacare. I think the law is a step in the right direction, it just doesn't go far enough to capture my peers in large numbers. Let me offer my situation: I earn 55,000 a year working in a restaurant, though I have a Masters Degree. I live in Brooklyn. I earn too much to qualify for assistance with healthcare, so my premium is $308/month. My apartment rent is $1400/month, student loans are just under $800/month, I pay around $200/month in credit card bills, $100 for a cell phone, and $50 for car insurance. Then we have food, movies, metro cards, etc, etc ... Run the numbers, where do I find room for another $308/month??? I've been off my parents insurance for 8 years. I've been to the doctor less than 5 times in those years, for a total cost of under $500. It's hard for me to justify spending almost $3800 a year on a bronze plan when that's more than 7 times what I've paid over the last 8 years! And even spending that much, I've still got a large deductible to cover. I know I'm not getting any younger, but man, these numbers are hard to swallow, much less get excited about!
Many TPM readers replied angrily, lecturing "TC" about his life choices, questioning his story and motives, and ordering him to suck it up and shell out the cash. A sample offering (content warning):
Never written in before, but I call bullshit on TC. He has plenty of money to afford health insurance, but doesn't think he needs insurance, and obviously doesn't care enough about making the program successful to sign up. Really it's no better than a Tea Party response - I don't need no stinking health insurance, and if something does happen I'll just go to the emergency room. With friends like that, the opponents of Obamacare won't have to do much at all.
Exactly. No amount of scolding and gnashing of teeth will change the fundamental flaws of this law. If Obamacare's prices are sufficiently expensive to chase away someone like TC, who is strongly ideologically disposed to sign up, corralling the attention and dollars of the ambivalent and/or skeptical masses will be a much heavier lift. Dollars and cents cannot be spun away. Reality has intruded on Obamacare advocates' fantasies. This challenge helps explain Obamacare's paltry youth participation rates to date (don't forget that actual enrollment numbers remain shrouded in incompetence and mystery), a phenomenon that undermines the law's financial model. Imagine how young people will react if this Obamacare pipe bursts within the next year. Krauthammer:
Don’t worry the Republicans will step in and save the day and own then it. People, socialism is ugly; get used to it.
Hand sandwiches, no movies and get rid of the phone. It's easy.
I think the law is a step in the right direction, it just doesn’t go far enough to capture my peers in large numbers.
Translation: Make someone else pay what I don’t want to pay.
So when the pre-Obamacare crowd went to the ER for medical care, we were supposed to feel sorry for them, right? Now, however, the left calls the new ER visitors “deadbeats” and “freeloaders.” What happened to the love and compassion for the less fortunate?
Perhaps our young hero should question why he blindly backs a law that clearly doesn't work for him. Basic analysis easily shows that his is far from an isolated case, and that for most people in his situation--young, healthy, not eligible for a subsidy--Obamacare is way overpriced. A little more analysis would reveal that if it doesn't work for his group of healthy invincibles, there will be no money available to pay for the old and the sick.
But, being a liberal means you never have to do any analysis. You love the healthcare law because Obama created it, and you love Obama because he's a democrat and you're a democrat
That does sound a little extreme.
I ran his numbers, allocating $500 for food, metro card, etc. and taking the 55K as his gross and 75% of that as his net (an estimate I’ve been using for 20 years as a bookkeeper) and my calculations indicate that although he probably could buy the ins, and almost certainly WOULD buy it if he had health issues (and remember it wouldn’t cost him any more if he did) it would use up pretty much all of his discretionary income.
He wouldn’t be able to save ANY money.
I’m surprised he has a car, but since he does he’s probably got coverage for any car-related injuries under that policy.
This is what I said, people are just not going to buy something they feel they can’t afford. It isn’t going to matter who tells them: sure you can afford it. Who ever listens to other people on issues like this? Nobody. Not libs, not mods, not cons.
I don’t know what a pre-Obama care policy might have cost this guy. My impression is that NY had so many mandates in place already that the costs there have actually gone down.
But, I bet if you had a plan that offered this guy what most healthy people want - catastrophic coverage (I call it appendicitis/cancer/hit by a car insurance) and it cost him about $100/month - he’d sign right up.
Yes, but the fine is capped at 2.5% of income (I think), in this guy’s case that would be $1375 - which works out to a little over $100/month.
Like I said in my previous post, I bet that’s an amount he would feel he could afford.
He says he’s paying $50/month for auto insurance - he’s probably got a much higher chance of having a car accident than he does of getting cancer. To pay 6 times as much for health insurance doesn’t make sense based on risk. (Well, that’s what I’m saying, but I’m no expert!)
I think the vast majority of people under 40 feel and think the same way and will do the same as this guy.
And it will only get worse.
People who have subscribed to obammacare will start to drop out of paying the premiums, losing their insurance.
The deductibles will cause many to forgo medical care and/or treatments as trying to come up with the huge deductibles is a big bite out of anyone yearly expenses.
And since anyone can go to the ER if they get sick or need medical attention at the drop of a hat, why not?
I wonder has this guy looked into catastrophic insurance?
he meant to say...
“I think the law is a ‘goose’ step in the right direction...”
Big Government has already taken these type of initiatives to save the Auto Industry, why not save the medical industry....
That does sound a little extreme.
Eventually you gotta run out of hands.
I have an idea.
Lets just worry about making f.....n Obamas damn plan a success by letting people die when they get sick to make it more affordable.
Oh wait........that is the plan.
Of course—the hearty form of finger sandwiches!
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