By Katie Kieffer
Giving Millennials discounts on Lyft rides is the newest attempt to bait them into subsidizing a substandard healthcare system.
Last Tuesday, federal health officials pronounced a sneaky plan to scrutinize the tax records of young people ages 18-34 and compile a list of those who paid the penalty rather than signing up for Obamacare.
Federal officials admitted they plan to use this list to target Millennials with emails and enticements to pressure them into joining Obamacare. Sweeteners to be dangled like bait in front of Millennials include reduced fares with the hipster rideshare service known as Lyft.
“Insurance companies need robust enrollment of healthy young people to balance the costs of caring for older, sicker adults, who signed up in droves for insurance under so-called Obamacare,” reports the Associated Press.
Thanks to Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber, we now know this administration relied on the so-called “stupidity of the American voter” and a “lack of transparency” to pass the Affordable Care Act.
I don’t care what Jonathan Gruber thinks. My Millennial peers and I are not mindless fish that will gobble up hooks as long as they hold juicy worms.
Millennials are being bullied into shouldering the burden of crony healthcare reform. Instead of increasing affordability, the Affordable Healthcare Act raised premiums and penalties for young people. The law also dramatically reduced our healthcare options.
Monthly healthcare premiums jumped 30 percent for young women and 73 percent for young men between 2013 and 2014 alone. Which helps explain why some 12.7 million Millennials are still uninsured—and Millennials now comprise 45 percent of all taxpayers paying a penalty or claiming an exemption—up from 30 percent of all taxpayers in 2014.
Young and healthy—and also unemployed, underemployed, or in massive college debt—millions of Millennials chose to pay the $325 penalty in 2015 rather than overpay for insurance they wouldn’t use.
In 2016, the penalty for not having health insurance increases to $695. Unfortunately, many Millennials don’t realize that they can legally avoid paying the penalty and get a form of emergency health protection by being a good-standing member of a healthcare sharing ministry. (I’ve done so for the past two years.) We all need to help educate Millennials so they know they have legitimate alternatives to being used as political pawns.
I explain in my chapter titled “Young and Hellthy,” how presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton conjured up Hillarycare long before Obama invented Obamacare. Her version of Obamacare—which she pushed as first lady while her husband Bill was president—flopped because drug companies launched a major ad campaign to fight the legislation. Voters had a chance to see what was in Hillarycare before it passed, and consequently it didn’t pass.
In contrast, as Jonathan Gruber conceded, President Obama succeeded in passing Obamacare through a lack of transparency. Obama’s administration claimed to be improving healthcare for Americans while working behind closed doors to broker deals with Big Pharma—regardless of whether doing so would raise healthcare premiums and decrease the quality of patient care.
“British and Canadian healthcare systems work great, why are you worried?” someone might counter. Actually, socialized healthcare doesn’t work so well for Brits or Canadians. 3.4 million Brits were on medical waiting lists as of the summer of 2015—up 36 percent from 2010—according to Sally Pipes, president of the Pacific Research Institute.
No wonder Brits eagerly voted to exit the EU last week! They’re tired of a broken and corrupt political system. Also according to Pipes, every year at least 52,000 Canadians come to the United States for medical treatment and Canadians wait for care “97 percent longer than they did in 1993.”
Progressives need to rethink their regressive healthcare schemes. Meanwhile, my Millennial friends, don’t take the bait.