Lexi Cory titled her article: “Wake Up Millennials, We’re the Ones Paying the Bill.” The bill she was talking about is the Affordable Care Act. She wonders if her fellow millennials really understand the consequences of Obamacare.
Many articles and commentaries have documented the costs and subsidies in the Affordable Care Act. There were promises of lowering the premiums by up to $2,500. That hasn’t happened. There were those who argued that it would harm the economy and increase the deficit. But often lost in the calculation was how it would impact the youngest generation that has entered or will be entering the job market.
Before the implementation of Obamacare, there was a rational relationship between individual premiums and expected health care costs. The young and the healthy were charged less for insurance because they were less likely to consume large amounts of health care. The premiums were actuarially fair.
The Affordable Care Act changed all of that. Insurers are now required to practice a form of community rating in which the healthy and sick are charged the same. The young must pay more than they would normally pay in order to cover the costs of the old and sick. In some states the increased premiums that millennials will have to pay are more but potentially possible to pay on a limited budget. In other states the increase premiums are triple or quadruple what millennials would currently be paying.
Zack Toombs argues that “Millennials Could Wreck Obamacare.” He noted that They initially approved of the law but may quickly sour on it when they see how much more they have to pay. They could break the program if they choose to pay the relatively small penalty fee rather than sign up for insurance.
I believe he is right simply because many millennials won’t have a choice. They graduated from college with lots of student loan debt and are now headed into a bleak job market.