Ezra Klein writes at Bloomberg.com to convince healthy, young, rich people that “they need Obamacare too.”
Klein clearly proves that, assuming there is any way that Obamacare can work at all (!), it needs those healthy, young, rich people, and needs them to be gullible.“The trick to making any health-insurance system work is to attract enough healthy and young people into the insurance pool. Their low costs offset the care provided to elderly and unhealthy people, who drive costs up.”
It needs them so that elderly and unhealthy people don’t have to pay as much.
First of all, this isn’t insurance. Klein lets this slip at the beginning of his piece:
“Health insurance isn’t like other forms of insurance. It’s not protection against the unlikely; it’s insulation against the inevitable. Most people never use their fire insurance. Almost everyone uses their health insurance. Eventually.”
That’s not insurance. That’s what savings is for. No one saves anymore. Our government has trained us not to save. It makes false promises about taking care of us and protecting the financial predator class with below market interest rates so that keeping money in a savings account makes as much sense as stuffing cash in one’s mattress.
Insurance is when one pays over one’s life time against the possibility of a catastrophe. If one is facing a known expense then one has to save for it. Insuring the inevitable is a misuse of language.
Forcing different risk categories in one group is also not insurance. It is government imposed collectivism. The person who starts paying insurance against hospitalization when he is eighteen should not face the same rate as the man who waits until he is forty.
Klein thinks the Obamacare can keeps rates down. That is an illusion. It is true many will be paying a “below market” rate at any given time. But the market forces that normally drive prices down will still be absent (as they have been absent for decades). The market price will continue to rise and rise swiftly.
So Klein tries to argue with “the young, healthy, and rich” (YHR) that it is in their best interests to buy insurance at the individual health exchange rather than simply pay the fine for not purchasing health insurance. His argument is thus:
“Those young, healthy rich people will need a functional system in the future when they become older, sicker or poorer. So even for those least in need, health-insurance premiums are an investment — not in someone else’s future, but in their own. Only a cramped and narrow view of self-interest assumes that the status quo lasts forever. When it comes to health, change is inevitable. The only question is whether you’ll have insurance when it comes.”
This is laughable.
If one YHR person decides to opt in, will that save the future of Obamcare? I doubt it. And one YHR person opting out probably won’t destroy Obamacare either. But Klein is asking each YHR person to be the “sucker” who pays into the system when others don’t and the system will last or not last regardless of his one decision. He is supposed to take a personal loss when the good cannot be guaranteed. Klein is in the teeth of the socialist problem. Why should people do things at great cost to themselves when their reward from the common stock will be no different than if they do nothing?
Furthermore, if you think there is any chance at all that there will be “a functional system in the future” you are incredibly gullible. I am not a YHR person. If I was, I’d have a stash of gold and an exit strategy for leaving the country. That may be risky, but it is the best health insurance available right now.
But youth is wasted on the young.