The Conversation

Hey, kids, buy ObamaCare and spend $1500 to save $250

Economist John Lott zings the economics of ObamaCare, picking apart the fuzzy math of an Administration advertisement (complete with a cartoon that literally depicts the target audience of of college-age young people as small children who get boo-boos by falling off their bicycles.)  The ad tells kids to buy an ObamaCare policy because they face a fifty-fifty chance of incurring $500 in medical bills each year.

Lott writes:

Either the Obama administration is simply dishonest or this is more evidence that they don't know simple math.  Of course, both things might be true.

This ad for 25 to 34 year olds implies that there is a fifty percent chance of them having to pay at least $500 in medical bills over the course of a year.  In other words, the expected medical bills over the course of a year are at least $250 (it would be more useful to simply state what the expected bills would be).  In any case, the cheapest state insurance for a 27 year old under Obamacare is $142 per month, with most in the $200 range per month (see chart below).  Could someone please explain to me how this section of the ad justifies the statement "I should really get insurance"? 

It's a bit early for those bizarre Common Core math courses to have eroded young people's arithmetic skills enough to make ObamaCare sound like a good deal, but give it a few years.  Of course, ObamaCare policies will be a lot more expensive in a few years - double or triple their already sky-high cost in some areas - so even kids who grow up needing a ream of paper and half an hour of effort to perform simple subtraction will likely make for tough customers.

Lott doesn't even get into the immense out-of-pocket costs built into ObamaCare policies, especially the cheaper options.  You're going to have to fall off that bicycle quite a few times before your $1500, $2500, or $3500 annual ObamaCare premiums provide any actual financial benefit.  Cheap policies with high deductibles can be a sensible option for healthy young people, but ObamaCare ain't cheap, and it's destroyed the kind of coverage kids used to obtain with the assistance of their college administrators.  

Actuarial reality has been turned on its head; socialist principles demand young and healthy people to pay exorbitant premiums for policies they'll probably never use, soaking up big taxpayer subsidies along the way, in order to offset the cost of discounted benefits for older and less healthy Americans.  It's no wonder the young suckers aren't eager to line up for their fleecing, and not surprising the last-ditch efforts from desperate ObamaCare minions involve a combination of patronizing arrogance and outright deception.




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