More than 13 percent of Americans aged 20-24 are unemployed. That’s more than 10 million people who aren’t getting started down the path to success. We used to call that “failure to launch” and make comedies about it. Today, our president just assumes that 25-year-olds are helpless. He goes around the country bragging that people can now stay on their parent’s insurance until they’re 26. It’s about the only feature of Obamacare that seems to have arrived on time.
Ah, but at the same time, the White House realizes Obamacare relies on these same young people coughing up money they don’t have. The administration will “need to entice a sufficient number of young and healthy adults into the new insurance marketplaces that open Oct. 1,” note Ezra Klein and Sarah Kliff in The Washington Post. “This, then, is the crux of Obamacare’s challenge: Can the federal government persuade young, healthy people to buy health insurance?”
The White House is, predictably, treating this is if it were a political campaign, complete with in-depth polls, messaging and “micro-targeting.” And perhaps a few good ads and cool presidential speeches will convince people in their 20s to spend hundreds of dollars per month that they can’t afford. Maybe they can just roll it into their student loan debt?
Still, if young people don’t participate, “…the new insurance marketplaces – the absolute core of Obamacare – will be filled with older, sicker people, and premiums will skyrocket. And if that happens, the law will fail,” Klein and Kliff conclude.
Obamacare’s not alone; Social Security also relies on that same pool of young people.
It’s been sold to Americans as an insurance program, so people tend to assume that the money they’re paying in is being saved for them somehow, somewhere. Instead, the money collected today is being spent on…