The Obamacare enrollment campaign’s fuzzy Millennial math

Corie Whalen Stephens Spokesperson, Generation Opportunity
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You’d better keep a close eye on your wallet this month, because the government’s spinmasters and money-grabbers are out in full force. They’re working to simultaneously placate and extort an Obamacare-weary public in the wake of dismal signup numbers.

But fear not, citizen! All you need to know about the demographics of Obamacare enrollment is that everything is fine, and there’s nothing to see here. Except that it’s unclear how many people have actually paid their premiums, 3.9 million people have been added to the already troubled Medicaid rolls, and only 21 percent of enrollees are paying their premiums in full without government assistance. Oh, and there’s the pesky little fact that more people have had the insurance they liked banned by Obamacare than signed up through the exchanges — by a figure of 2.5 million. But no big deal, right? Just ignore all of the lies used to sell Obamacare, and trust that politicians and their cronies have your best interests at heart. Ah, if only life were that simple. Here in the real world, the economic and social costs of Obamacare cannot simply be written off.

As this chart from CNN shows, only 24 percent of the 2.2 million Obamacare enrollees are between the ages of 18 and 34. What remains unclear is how many 18-25 year olds were added as dependents to family plans — thus contributing less in premiums than their peers who purchased individual coverage. And even if you assume everyone in that 24 percent bought a plan on their own, it’s important to remember that the White House originally had a goal of wrangling 2.7 million people in that age bracket – ostensibly to offset the costs of the sicker Americans who would surely sign up due to guaranteed issue. At this juncture, they’ve only managed to bait about 648,000 into the Obamacare trap; some of whom are dependent “adult children.” So naturally, they’re hoping to lure more of us with desperate gimmicks like Youth Enrollment Day. This post-Valentines Day extravaganza – during which we can only hope we’re spared frantic “free” birth control pitches — is expected to consist of the White House partnering with their resident Millennial mouthpieces at Young Invincibles – the group that’s taking shady Obamacare math to newly disingenuous heights. In response to this data, Young Invincibles stated that 30 percent of new enrollees are under 35. Their implication is that all 660,000 of the people between the ages of 0 and 34 counted in the new enrollment statistics purchased their own individual plans – a claim that’s simply inaccurate.

While we don’t know what portion of the 9 percent representing the 18-25 year old signups are dependents, it’s clear that no matter how you slice it, 79 percent of all enrollees are receiving federal subsidies. This fact begs a central question: Who is actually paying for everything? Obamacare advocates are celebrating this new level of dependency, as if our government isn’t already trillions in the red. Unsurprisingly, as opponents of the law have warned all along, Obamacare is already morphing into another entitlement program with no means of sustaining itself financially.

Due to political pressure and a general lack of concern about where the money to pay for government favors will actually come from, the White House has already relaxed Obamacare’s individual mandate standards. In doing so, it’s possible that the “death spiral” experts have expressed concern about will be accelerated. And while it’s true that the fine associated with the mandate is slated to steadily increase until you can be penalized by up to 2.5 percent of your income for failing to maintain government-approved coverage, it’s questionable whether enforcement will be possible, both logistically and politically. After all, you can’t squeeze blood from a stone.

Ultimately, the economic burdens of Obamacare and the rest of the government’s deficit spending will fall squarely on the backs of Millennials. Amid the uncertainty job creators face as a result of an ever-changing, always-expanding regulatory regime, young people are left with dismal economic prospects to complement their unprecedented student loan debt. To make matters worse, foisting countless trillions in additional government debt on America’s youth has been just fine with our overlords in Washington over the last decade and a half. On a bipartisan basis, they’ve managed to rack up $17 trillion in debt, coupled with $120 trillion in unfunded liabilities – the latter being a conservative estimate.

It’s high time that our elected officials begin to act like stewards of America’s future, not simply self-interested advocates for their own reelection campaigns. Data clearly shows that young people have soured on the central planning that keeps youth unemployment at a steady 16 percent. The next step is to organize, and demand equitable generational treatment. After all, as a recent Jimmy Kimmel skit highlighted, those interested in social justice cannot morally defend the massive transfer of wealth from a young, relatively poor portion of the population, to an older, wealthier segment. As this year’s midterm elections approach, that ought to be the first thing on the minds of my peers.

Tags : obamacare
Corie Whalen Stephens