Impact on Millennials: The Tragedy of My Generation
POTUS 42 accurately diagnosed the inevitable eulogy of Obamacare:
“This only works, for example, if young people show up… We’ve got to have them in the pools, because otherwise all these projected low costs cannot be held if older people with preexisting conditions are disproportionately represented in any given state.” - President Bill Clinton
The haze of confusion has only begun to clear around the bill that Congresswoman Pelosi once said “we have to pass… so you can find out what is in it,” and the more Americans know, the less we like it.
What is crystal clear, however, is that the math simply doesn’t work. The numbers on Obamacare will never add up because the presumed success of this disastrous program relies upon the participation of my generation. We are expected to be fully engaged to finance something we can’t afford and won’t use. This bill was not created to help us; it was created despite our needs leaving us to shoulder the burden of covering costs for older generations.
The make-up of the supposed 8 million Americans who have signed up is further evidence that the economics of Obamacare are way off the mark. Open enrollment numbers indicate only about 28% of Americans who have signed up are from this lynch pin audience. Obama counted on my generation to get elected, but we’re now leaving him high and dry by not enrolling in his landmark legislation.
Our financial priorities are not acquiring health insurance; it’s paying off student loans and moving out of Mom and Dad’s basement. Obamacare is more than an additional out of pocket expense that’s inequitably affecting me and my peers. It’s eroding our employment opportunities, crippling the job market, and handicapping our ability to pay high deductibles that come along with ‘catastrophic plans’.
INABILITY TO PAY
Obamacare’s unabashed reliance upon already cash-strapped young Americans to buy something they rarely use, and probably don’t need, is the incurable Achilles Heel of the legislation.
Aside from an unoptimistic employment scene, mounting personal debt is decreasing young American’s financial independence and solvency. We are taking out larger and larger student loans to obtain costly degrees, which are consistently proving to be worthless in the workforce. We are receiving an inferior education for higher costs on a borrowed dime. This alone equates to an unpromising economic future for my generation, let alone our ability to subsidize the aged population’s healthcare. Millennials rank highest in unemployment or part-time employment, have the highest student loan debt, earn the lowest wages, and lest we forget, are the lowest consumers of healthcare services.
The employer mandate will inevitably increase costs for business owners creating a chilling effect on hiring. I can attest that many of my former classmates who have recently finished their education are unsuccessfully trying to enter the workplace.
Many employers are reducing their number of full-time employees, or moving them to part-time positions to avoid the employer mandate. It isn’t Bob from accounting who has been with the company for 25 years whose hours are being reduced; it’s 20-something Justin who was hired last summer that will be feeling the pinch.
Frustrated by the complexity of the system, many employers will simply elect to not offer any healthcare coverage and pay the penalty. The Congressional Budget Office projects Obamacare will decrease employer-sponsored health insurance for 7 million Americans. The ACA is doing the exact opposite of the Democrats’ publicized goals to provide health insurance to all Americans. It is, in fact, reducing access.
New jobs created from new businesses will never see the light of day because the barriers of entry are steadily increasing. For some innovators, the burden Obamacare puts on employers is enough to stay out of the job creating sector all together.
With more debt, fewer jobs, reduced hours, and decreased health benefits at work, the net effect on the 20-something workforce is overwhelmingly negative.
My peers and I already pay high taxes for similar “pre-existing conditions” the federal government has imposed upon us, such as Social Security and Medicare. I’m not holding my breath to collect a dime from either of these programs when I come of age. Cost shifting from one generation to another hasn’t worked well in these examples and does not bode well for Universal Healthcare.
We cannot continue to mortgage the economic prosperity of America’s posterity. Just like the ballooning national debt, future generations will be left holding the bill perpetuating the downward financial spiral that has already cost the U.S. a decreased credit rating.
A flawed financial model plus a lack of participation from healthy, young adults does not equal affordable healthcare for all. I applaud Ted Cruz’s candor when he said, “If you were trying to design a law to hurt young people: Obamacare, you couldn’t do better than that.”
Renae Cowley hails from West Point, Utah and is a graduate of Utah State University. She has been heavily involved in Utah political campaigns and has built a reputation as an artful campaign consultant, top-notch fundraiser, and talented young lobbyist. She worked on several federal, statewide, and legislative races in Utah. Renae is a part of Utah’s most prominent lobbying firms, Foxley & Pignanelli who was just awarded Best in State for Government Relations.
Her crowning achievement was winning Miss Rodeo Utah and finishing in the top five at Miss Rodeo America.