The Atlas Society sent me a link to this video a few days ago. I get these periodically, and have never been impressed with them. This video continued the trend.
The title alone set me off How Obamacare Betrays Young Adults. Really? We’re going to take that angle? First off, health insurance has never been ‘insurance’, and healthcare ‘insurance’ policies have always capitalized on sharing the costs amongst the payers in any group. The ACA simply sets the default group size as “the entirety of the US”.
My opinions have shifted over the years I’ve been watching this subject. Read back through the articles listed under “health care” and you might just get a feel for what it means to “change positions” (for one, I’m not even on speaking terms with the people who run Downsize DC anymore, and don’t get me started on my disappointment with CATO) Especially in light of what I’m about to write here.
There is no reason to speak of Obamacare as anything ground breaking or particularly threatening. It might or might not work as intended, but with the insurance companies forced to accept everyone and not allowed to take a greater than 15% profit from premiums, my objections to the system are effectively eliminated.
Yes, young people will pay more for insurance than they might pay out of pocket for their well-care visits (most of which will be skipped by them for reasons of economy if they are anything like I was back then) if they live long enough to reach middle age they’ll be thankful that they paid into the healthcare infrastructure all those years.After watching the video I was depressed to realize that the arguments I would craft if making the case against Obamacare were better than the ones presented. Combine that with the crappy cinematography, poor sound quality and bad acting and you have something that’s only watchable by people who already agree with you.
If you buy insurance of any kind, you are by definition subsidizing the behaviors of others who buy the same policy. The only way to avoid this is to not buy insurance. The lie that is presented here is that Obamacare is different in effect; when the only difference is that Americans are all compelled to buy it. It is effectively a tax, one that I (and most intelligent people) can craft arguments for and against almost at will.I wouldn’t be opposed to means testing the system so that those more able to pay are not unequally profited from the availability of healthcare (as was mentioned in one of the other comments) I would be opposed to telling contributing members of society that they must simply die because they cannot afford to pay, which is what anyone who says “I don’t want to contribute to that” means, whether they understand that is the ultimate result of their actions or not.
It’s also worth noting that we already subsidize the healthcare of the poor. This is done through the mechanism of providing charitable relief at emergency rooms, where the ability to pay is not used (for humane reasons) to screen the sick from access to doctors. This is also the most expensive way to provide healthcare, not only because emergency rooms are expensive to run and maintain, but because waiting until illness is severe is the least effective and most expensive way to treat illness.
While I’m not fond of Obamacare, I’m also not fond of the idea of leaving the poor and sick to their own devices; and I’m quite fond of the idea of having emergence services available when I need them. Consequently some form of tax is necessary to pay for these services. How about we have that honest discussion instead?