Opinion
The federal government forms for applying for health coverage are seen at a rally held by supporters of the Affordable Care Act, widely referred to as "Obamacare", outside the Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Health Center in Jackson, Mississippi October 4, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman The federal government forms for applying for health coverage are seen at a rally held by supporters of the Affordable Care Act, widely referred to as "Obamacare", outside the Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Health Center in Jackson, Mississippi October 4, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman  

Obamacare’s 7.1 million sign-ups: This year’s worst April Fools joke

Photo of Corie Whalen Stephens
Corie Whalen Stephens
Spokesperson, Generation Opportunity
  • See All Articles
  • Subscribe to RSS
  • Bio

      Corie Whalen Stephens

      Corie Whalen is the Spokesperson for Generation Opportunity, a national organization advocating for Millennials ages 18-29. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Coalition to Reduce Spending. Before joining Generation Opportunity, Corie was the South Central Regional Director for Young Americans For Liberty and the National Secretary of the Republican Liberty Caucus. She is a 2009 graduate of Simmons College, where she double majored in Political Science and History.

In a twist of fate that reflects the dishonesty built into Obamacare, the president took to the White House Rose Garden to proclaim victory for his signature legislation on, of all days, April 1st. It might have been funny, if Obamacare wasn’t premised on falsehoods that are causing problems for the economy, middle class families, and Millennials. But Obamacare’s impending legacy appears to be increasingly tarnished with the deceit that has been central to the law’s political viability.

Parroting the claim that 7.1 million people have signed up for Obamacare, the White House coupled the president’s aforementioned speech with the Twitter campaign #7MillionAndCounting. Critics of the law rightfully used the hashtag to point out the many falsehoods promoted by the president — in a setting where, unsurprisingly, questions from the press were disallowed. While the White House pretends this  scheme is working (even as midterm election projections paint another picture), a quick reality check tells us the following:

– At least 5 million Americans lost their health insurance because Obamacare banned it. This means that even if 7.1 million is an accurate representation of those who bought plans, Obamacare is an expensive game of musical chairs with the collateral impact of hurting the economy and transferring earned wealth away from young Americans.

– The Department of Health and Human Services defines someone as being enrolled in Obamacare as long as they’ve “selected” a plan. Furthermore, their metrics don’t count whether people actually have paid for their plan or not – the centrally important question.

– Obamacare has only decreased the amount of uninsured Americans by 1.2 percent from the last quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014. This needs to be considered in the context of the fact that at least 1 million individuals who had plans they liked before Obamacare banned them remain uninsured as of today. Perhaps many of these people are the low-income college students Obamacare has created nightmares for.

83 percent of Obamacare enrollees have their insurance subsidized by taxpayers. This essentially means that Obamacare is the new unsustainable entitlement its critics always said it would be. Couple this with the problems Medicare and Social Security face, and you’ll see that the government’s full-fledged war on youth is alive and well.

– Only 27 percent of Obamacare enrollees are young and/or healthy, falling significantly below the Congressional Budget Office’s projection of the needed 40 percent figure. This tells you a lot about who Obamacare attracts, who has chosen to opt out, and why the program is unsustainable in the long-run.

It’s a crafty political bait-and-switch, banning the insurance several million people depended on and then claiming you were responsible for “expanding access.” From an ethical standpoint this is absurd, and speaks to why placing essential services in the hands of government bureaucrats is dangerous. Those who believe in programs like Obamacare are often critics of alleged “unbridled capitalism.” They point to profit motive in a market as an inherent moral negative. On its face, this concept sounds as if it could have merit – and sometimes it does. There are many bad actors in a free market, but when consumers have an abundance of choices, companies that consistently treat their customers poorly will go out of business.

To assume that government meddling in an industry such as health care will intrinsically yield positive outcomes is to suspend realistic thinking. If the profit motive of a private insurance company is something that concerns you, the power motive inherent in politics (which more often than not leads to ill-gotten profit) should be that much scarier. What we’re currently seeing with Obamacare is simply another example of this timeless truth. The larger government grows, the less effective it is at managing its basic functions, and the more it enriches the powerful at the expense of the less-connected.

In this case, the less-connected and thusly-screwed are largely members of my generation. Obamacare puts a target on the back of Millennials who already suffer as a result of record un- and under-employment, not to mention unreasonably high federally subsidized student loan debt. By mandating that we pay for costly, sub-par Obamacare plans, the government is doubling down on its war on youth. This conflict is both immoral and unnecessary – but it can only be stopped by an informed electorate unwilling to stand for this unseemly generational transfer of wealth. After all, a government ultimately reflects its citizenry; and a corrupt one, its apathy. Let’s change that.