The Corner

The Other Reason Obamacare Needs Young Enrollees

If you’re like me, you’re probably getting a little exhausted hearing people say over and over again that the reason young enrollees are important to Obamacare is that the younger and healthier need to pay for the older and sicker. Of course that’s true, but it’s just getting a little wearisome to hear pundits say it like it’s a fresh insight for months on end. Well, it occurs to me there’s another reason why young people are so important to Obamacare, though I doubt I’m the first to say it. Young people are less likely to feel sticker shock because they’re more likely to have never paid for health insurance themselves before. If you had your plan canceled and were forced onto the exchanges, there’s a very good chance you’ll have to pay more for what you had or you’ll pay the same for something worse. But if you’ve never paid for insurance of any kind before, you’ll have no idea you’re getting the shaft. In that sense it’s easier for young people to “forget about the price tag.” There’s something vaguely fitting in the way Obama’s signature plan exploits the comparative ignorance and inexperience of his biggest supporters.  


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