Monday, September 28, 2009

Hey There, You With the Stars in Your Eyes

ObamaCare is bleeding support; Rasmussen shows approval at its lowest level to date.  Because senior citizens are the age group paying closest attention, they are the age group showing greatest intensity of opposition to health care reform.  Guess which  age group is paying the least attention and yet shows strongest support for ObamaCare?  If you clicked on the links you already know the answer, 18-29 year olds.  Unfortunately for young adults, they are also the group most likely to bear the greatest costs of Obama's health care reform and ostensibly Obamanomics in general.

Let's start with how health care reform hurts today's young adults.  In a Wall Street Journal op-ed authors Hennessey, Leavitt, and Hubbard suggest we "have an honest debate before we transfer more money from the young to the old."  Making the case the current health reform is a redistribution of income from the young to the old, the authors show the individual mandate will result in a 25 year old paying the same premiums as a 55 year old:
Thus a healthy 25-year-old and a 55-year-old with cancer would pay nearly the same premium for a health policy. Mr. Obama and his allies emphasize the benefits for the 55-year old. But the 25-year-old, who may also have a lower income, would pay significantly more than needed to cover his expected costs.
Indeed, Hennessey made this point in his initial evaluation of the Baucus Bill:
All those 20-something staff assistants will be subsidizing their 50-something bosses.
Literally, the only way to insure that no one can be denied coverage because of age or pre-existing conditions is to mandate the younger and healthier purchase health care.  Otherwise, how long would it take for the young to decide they will put-off getting health care coverage until they are older and sicker knowing they can't be denied care and coverage?  To insure this age group participate, the Baucus Bill will carry fines that must be paid at the risk of $25,000 and/or jail time.  Surely, the Obama administration and Congressional Democrats are relieved this age group is the least likely to be paying attention.

Hennessey et al., also suggest the mandate will have the effect of raising premiums for the vast majority of Americans.  Increased premiums will continue to stagnate or decrease wages over time for everyone though they may hurt the young the most.  Ed Morrissey at Hot Air synthesizes two recent articles from The New York Times and The New York Post to show Democratic economic policies have resulted the lowest level of entry-level job openings while unemployment among young Americans has reached its' highest level since World War II.   From the Post:
"It's an extremely dire situation in the short run," said Heidi Shierholz, an economist with the Washington-based Economic Policy Institute. "This group won't do as well as their parents unless the jobs situation changes."
The consequences of this deep recession have both short term and long term effects for the young according to a study cited in the Post article:
A study from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, a government database, said the damage to a new career by a recession can last 15 years. And if young Americans are not working and becoming productive members of society, they are less likely to make major purchases -- from cars to homes -- thus putting the US economy further behind the eight ball.
While it may take years to offset the damage to the new careers, those entering the job market will be paying increased premiums to insure their aging bosses, if they are fortunate enough to gain employment in today's bleak job market.  Furthermore, The trillion dollar health care reform maintains the appearance of deficit neutrality largely by shifting costs  to the states that are already facing budget busting deficits according to a WSJ op-ed on the "Mad Max Mandate."  Today's young adults will surely face higher state taxes and higher insurance premiums to fund a health care reform that will benefit everyone but them. 

As Winston Churchill once said, "A liberal is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air."  Though it is often considered a luxury of idealistic youth to embrace liberal policy with feet in the air and stars in their eyes, this luxury is one today's young can ill afford.  It's time for a vat of Espresso Macchiato from one of the giants of capitalism Starbucks to shake the stars from the eyes of today's young voters;  it's time to wake up and smell the coffee.

H/T: Memeorandum and Hot Air

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