Six Americans in black robes have, yet again, saved the Affordable Care Act (ACA) from a major crisis, but the most important part of this story for young people is their atrocious ruling will cause significant problems for the nation’s youngest and healthiest citizens.
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in the highly anticipated case King v. Burwell, pictures of young Americans celebrating at rallies in Washington, DC flooded the Internet and newspapers across the country. Nothing could be more ironic. Since the ACA was first implemented in 2013, prices for all health care insurance consumers have skyrocketed, but price increases have been particularly shocking for people between 18 and 35 years old.
While cost increases for women under age 31 were higher than the increases experienced by men (22.7 percent) and women age 63 (37.5 percent), their price increases were significantly lower than young men. Prices increased by 78.2 percent for men 23 years old and by 73.4 percent for men age 30.
If young Americans’ health care costs composed a significant portion of U.S. health care spending, these price increases might make some sense, but young people, especially young men, are the healthiest demographic in the nation. As John Graham pointed out in his article in Forbes, an analysis by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners says health care costs for 63-year-olds is five times greater than spending on 22-year-olds.
President Barack Obama’s frequent call for all people to “pay their fair share” apparently doesn’t apply to middle-aged and older Americans.
“The Supreme Court decided once again to uphold key parts of the Affordable Care Act—a law that is essentially run on the backs of hardworking, healthy young Americans,” said Ashley Dobson, the editor of Red Alert Politics, an online news and opinion website aimed at right-of-center young people. “Justice Scalia said it best when he dubbed the law ‘SCOTUScare’ in his scorching dissenting opinion. The Court has now decided that it has the ability to choose whether or not to keep Obamacare in place, but it’s all Americans, especially young people, who are left footing the bill.”
Some states are particular hard on their healthiest citizens. For instance, in Vermont—a state whose cost of living is cheaper than the U.S. average—men and women age 23 pay on average 67 percent more for their health insurance than the average American and 50 percent more than their neighbors of the same age in New Hampshire. Costs in Vermont are extremely high for younger people because it spreads costs out across all demographics. Vermonters age 63 pay the same average rate as their 23-year-old neighbors, children, and grandchildren, even though they use significantly more resources.
This hasn’t stopped young people from supporting the ACA or Obama, but this is largely because many Americans simply aren’t aware of the unfair policies imposed on them by control-obsessed bureaucrats in Washington, DC and in state capitals.
In a study published in the September 2013 issue of the Journal of Health Economics, only 13 percent of respondents between the ages of 25 and 64 understood basic insurance terms and concepts, such as “deductible, copay, co-insurance and out-of-pocket maximum,” as reported by Bruce Japsen in Forbes.
If conservatives are serious about battling Obamacare, one of the best ways to do it is to spend as much time as possible reaching out to young Americans to make them aware of the policies imposed by the Obama administration that unfairly target them. If young people realized just how destructive Obamacare has been on their own financial situation compared to others, there wouldn’t have been nearly as much celebrating when the Supreme Court determined the ACA should continue to deprive Americans of their rights and the cash in their wallets in King.