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Healthcare: Young people underwriting older folks

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POSTED October 4, 2013 12:20 a.m.

Editor, Manteca Bulletin,

 Today is Day Three of Obamacare in effect, and while it’s too early to gauge its ultimate success, there are signs that it won’t live up to the hype that many of its proponents are claiming it to be. Perhaps the most devastating news to emerge about Obamacare’s structure is how much the insurance exchanges will depend on young people enrolling in order to support lower costs for the general population.

Evidence is clear that lower premiums for older and sicker people are possible because of higher premiums on younger and healthier Americans. A study by the American Action Forum shows that premiums for a 30-year-old male will increase in every state and DC, and increase nationwide by more than 260 percent. Current low-cost coverage plans cost around $62 per month; next year premiums may rise to more than $180. What are the chances a young person with little disposable income will choose to be a part of Obamacare while facing these higher costs?

Obamacare has been described as a free market approach to health care reform. A true free market system, however, doesn’t depend on the support of one group to prop up the system for everyone else.

David Cushman
Oct. 3, 2013

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