In a recent interview I conducted with Fred Smith, founder and longtime president of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, he lamented that libertarians are not winning the necessary battles. The administrative state is expanding. That is a fact. Given a choice between socialism and capitalism, or freedom and tyranny, virtually no society will every choose the onerous yoke of Communism or socialism. That is why it is necessary for the advocates of socialist collectivism and big government bureaucracy to obfuscate their true intentions, shrouding the actual numbers in a web of secrecy, aided and abetted by their fawning acolytes in the media, pop culture, and academia.
Case in point: healthcare. Obama’s signature domestic accomplishment began with the assumption that only a cold-hearted monster would deny that the government should provide healthcare to all of its citizens. Despite the complete lack of Constitutional justification or authorization, Obama, who once taught Constitutional law at the University of Chicago, brushed aside such concerns. Where in the Constitution does it suggest that the government can obligate all Americans to purchase healthcare?
- Read More: The Perpetual Failure of ObamaCare and Single Payer Healthcare
- Read More: Time to Kill ObamaCare for More Choice, More Competition
Obama and friends also had an essential mission: hide from the American public the true costs of their healthcare. Nowhere is this more necessary than with the fawning millennials who put Obama into office and don’t realize that they are getting royally screwed by ObamaCare. By shifting a disproportionate burden onto them, Obama is making it more difficult for them to find work, forcing their employers to spend more on their healthcare, and lowering their salaries. For those millennials who have to buy via exchanges, the situation is even worse. In Arkansas, for example, premiums for millennials are projected to increase by 100% to 200%.
As the Urban Institute notes, under ObamaCare, “many young people could see their premiums double, whereas premiums for older adults could be cut in half.” Doesn’t exactly sound like a kind way for Obama to reward the millennials: his greatest supporters.
ObamaCare should go down in history as the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on the American people. Obama tirelessly repeated his mantra that increased choice and competition would lower costs while improving the quality of care. In reality, premiums have skyrocketed under ObamaCare. And the only reason they haven’t skyrocketed to even more astronomical heights? An individual mandate that obligates young and healthy people to buy health insurance at prices that have no justification based on actuarial tables.
If young and healthy people fail to sign up en masse for the wonders of ObamaCare, and pay hefty monthly premiums, then ObamaCare collapses. It is that simple. Rob the millennial generation to pay the Baby Boomer generation. It makes little sense, particularly given that the older generation has had a lifetime to save and invest for retirement and medical care, and the younger generation is increasingly saddled with astronomical college debt that even in inflation-adjusted dollars, has grown exponentially in the last several decades.
It certainly doesn’t seem fair to obligate 18 to 35 year olds who generally have no assets and are often in debt to the tune of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to their colleges and universities, to prop up Obama’s rotten healthcare scheme so that the elderly can pay lower premiums. Many young people would be outraged if they knew how much they were paying for obligatory healthcare.
But wait…Obama and his team of top-notch advisers have thought of this objection…and they have the perfect solution, as smart big government bureaucrats always do: subsidies.
So, in Obama’s mind…yes, he must concede that his landmark legislation is not a good deal for young people, but that’s OK, because the “sticker shock” of these outlandish premiums will be offset by a magical regimen of government subsidies. Young people who earn between 100% and 400% of the poverty line will receive these joyous Christmas presents on a sliding scale. How will the subsidies work? Who will qualify for them? How much will they be? How much paperwork will you have to fill out to get your very own government subsidy?
That information is currently being debated by healthcare policy scholars putting together voluminous policy papers as we speak. But rest assured…the government has everything under control. And after all…who are you to doubt big government?
Alyene Singer at the Heritage Foundation estimates that said subsidies will cost taxpayers $100 billion a year, up until 2023. In typical big government fashion, the grand barrage of mandates and subsidies and taxes and penalties is fashioned so that only the “smartest people in the room”…left-wing professors from MIT or Harvard or Stanford, can really master all the details of the plan. But if you oppose it, you are not just opposed to healthcare…you’re opposing the interests of humanity.
In the end it’s the classic case of government robbing Peter to pay Paul…and in this case “Peter” is the millennials. You know…the demographic group responsible for putting Obama into office, both in 2008 and 2012. As an article in Politico notes, “Mitt Romney would have cruised to the White House had he managed to split the youth vote with Barack Obama.” In 2012, Obama won this demographic by a whopping 37 points, 67% to 30%.
Why would he turn around and stab them in the back? Particularly when today’s youth are often in the stranglehold of massive student loan debt even before they begin to build wealth?
Because he knew he could get away with it.
Millennials are big on style and short on substance. At high schools and college campuses and hipster bars around the country, supporting Barack Obama was seen as the epitome of cool. But ask these young scholars and urban professionals to sum up the provisions of ObamaCare in 60 seconds. The results would likely be disappointing.
Young people want to be seen as progressive and open-minded and tolerant and caring. Precious few are interested in the Constitutional foundation of this country, or in learning about the way that big government socialist collectivists like Barack Obama trample on that foundation.