Millennials are apparently having a devil of a time signing up for Obamacare. That’s according to an article written by Kaiser Health News and published on CNN Money on Wednesday.
Of course, the problem is not that Obamacare is a discombobulated mess that is inherent in every program micromanaged by government. And it’s not because millennials have been coddled and dumbed down and propagandized to believe that government is the source of all things good and the cure for all problems. No, the issue is, according to Kaiser, that the sign-up period has been shortened, the federal government has cut outreach funds by $90 million, and federal funding to groups providing in-person assistance was whacked by 40 percent. In other words: Donald Trump and Republicans.
The stories of these millennials, forced to purchase their own health insurance for the first time as they turn 26, are truly heartbreaking. But not because they are required to navigate government bureaucracy in order to acquire a service that is made overly-expensive and overly-complicated by government meddling. They are heartbreaking because those highlighted are so incompetent and pathetic.
Marguerite Moniot felt frustrated and flummoxed. Despite the many hours she had spent in front of the computer this year reading consumer reviews of health insurance plans offered on the individual market in Virginia, she still did not know what plan was right for her.
Moniot was preparing to buy an insurance policy of her own, knowing she would age out of her parents’ plan when she turned 26 in October. She asked her parents for help and advice. But they, too, ran into trouble trying to decipher which policy would work best for their daughter. The family had relied on her father’s employer-sponsored plan through his work as an architect for years, so no one had spent much time sifting through policies.
“Honestly, my parents were just as confused as I was,” said Moniot, a restaurant server in Roanoke.
In defeat, just before Thanksgiving, she went with her mother to meet a certified health insurance navigator and bought a policy that allowed her to keep her current doctors.
But illness does not recognize age. Dominique Ridley, who turned 26 on Dec. 6, knows this all too well.
Ridley has asthma. She always carries an inhaler and sees a doctor when she feels her chest tighten. The student at Radford University in Virginia relies on her mother’s employer-sponsored plan for coverage.
Ridley started peppering her parents with questions about health insurance as soon as she started seeing ads for this year’s open enrollment.
“I don’t want to just go out there and apply for health insurance, and it be all kinds of wrong and I can’t afford it,” she said.
Her parents didn’t have the answers, but her mother linked up Ridley with a friend that runs a marketing company tailored to promoting the Affordable Care Act. Ridley then connected with a broker who signed her up for a silver plan that will cost her less than $4 per month, after receiving a premium subsidy of more than $500 a month.
“If you don’t have health insurance, you don’t have anything,” Ridley said.
The absurdity of Ridley’s fallacy “if you don’t have health insurance, you don’t have anything” aside, Obamacare has been a boondoggle since its inception. It is the greatest wealth transfer in the history of world, as evidence by people like Ridley, who pays only $4 per month for health insurance while the American middle class is saddled with monthly family premiums of $1,500 to $2,000 and deductibles exceeding $10,000 in addition to subsidizing people like Ridley to the tune of $500 or more per month. And all the while, health insurance companies are raking in money hand-over-fist via a captured market and subsidies from the federal treasury.
Like all government programs, the Affordable Care Act does exactly opposite off what its name implies. Obamacare is not affordable by any stretch, nor has it ever been — hence the need for subsidies.
Under a free market health insurance system, Ridley might have to pay a little more than $4 per month, but she would certainly not have to pay for coverages she won’t need or doesn’t want. Nor would there be any specific government-mandated enrollment period.
Insurance for everyone would be affordable, cost-effective and accessible. People like Moniot could buy as much or as little insurance coverage as they wanted.
Government wouldn’t need to be propping up crony agencies and industries to help people navigate the perplexing website and jargon-laced policy possibilities.
And maybe then the millennials would be able to grow up a bit and be encouraged to take some personal responsibility.