Monday, October 12, 2009

Health insurance mandates for young people

"Guy Lilavois is 'invincible.' He's not a superhero -- just healthy, happy and voluntarily uninsured. . . . That gamble has become a crucial point in the debate over healthcare reform and how to pay for it, as the proposals in Congress would mandate that everyone buy insurance or face steep penalties. Supporters of mandatory coverage, including President Barack Obama, say it's a key step in making insurance affordable for everyone. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 19 million people age 18 to 34 don't have health insurance. That's about 27 percent of people in that age range -- the largest segment of Americans to go without. . . . Come Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee might move one step closer to taking this choice out of the hands of the invincibles, when it is scheduled to vote on its healthcare-reform bill. The committee's bill, as well as versions in the House of Representatives, include plans for ``individual mandates'' that would require all American adults to purchase insurance policies or face financial penalties."

Largely left unsaid in the healthcare debate has been the fact that a large portion of "the uninsured" are voluntarily uninsured healthy young people, "nearly 19 million people age 18 to 34", "about 27 percent of people in that age range", who are uninsured because they don't want insurance.

In other words, of the 30 million uninsured cited by Obama in his last major speech on the subject, nearly two thirds are voluntarily uninsured young people.

It's safe to assume that these voluntarily uninsured young people voted overwhelmingly for Obama. Who will they vote for when hit with new charges, taxes and penalties in an era of declining employment prospects for young people?

1 comment:

Florizel said...

Big difference between "don't want" and can't afford!. Need the public option to make health insurance affordable for people who don’t make 6 figures! $300 a month is a lot for health insurance when you are only making $30,000 a year!