Young Latinos shouldn’t comply with the Affordable Care Act

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), known in the media and among the public as “Obamacare”, went into effect as scheduled on October 1, 2013. It is being touted as a way for everyone in the country to be provided with health care insurance at a reasonable price. The campaign by the Obama administration leading up to its launch was targeted at young people in general, but especially Latino youth in particular since Latinos make up almost a third of the nation’s non-elderly uninsured population. . What should be noted is that it is really a ripoff of young people in general, but especially Latino youth in particular! Not only because of the fact that the targeted young people will lose money in the deal but because the Obama administration is, figuratively, in bed with the very people that it blames for the high cost of health care and health insurance.

According to recent research by the National Center for Policy Analysis(NCPA), about 3.7 million of those ages 18-34 will save at least $500 if they choose not to buy health insurance and instead pay what the Obama administration calls the “shared responsibility” penalty. Another 3 million will save $1,000. Part of the reason young people are getting a bad deal is that the law is making insurance so expensive. Policies can’t be sold in the Affordable Care Act exchanges unless they meet “essential coverage” standards set by the administration — which go far beyond the policies that millions of Americans buy. Allowing young people to stay on their parents’ plan and eliminating “pre-existing conditions” are also costly changes for insurers, forcing them to raise rates more.

According to the research report, in 2014, many single people aged 18-34 who do not have children will have a substantial financial incentive to forgo insurance on the exchanges and instead pay the individual mandate penalty of $95 or one percent of income. This raises the likelihood that an insufficient number of young and healthy people will participate in the exchanges, thereby leading to a death spiral—an event which occurs when the young and healthy drop out of the insurance pool. This leads to adverse selection in which insurance is only attractive to those who are generally older and sicker. If the insurance pool is comprised largely of people who are older and sicker, then insurance prices will rise to cover their costs. That rate increase causes even more young and healthy people to drop their insurance, leaving the pools even older and sicker than before, and so on. Eventually, all but a few insurers will be forced to discontinue their business on the exchanges because they can no longer make a profit. Fewer insurers mean less competition, resulting in even higher insurance premiums.

The White House is evasive about those inflated prices and are downright dishonest about the fact that a huge force behind the sign-up campaign: the same insurance executives who will turn a profit by signing people up under the Affordable Care Act. The government-accountability watchdog Cause of Action argues that the umbrella group behind the campaign — Enroll America — operates as a trade association for health-care providers made up of a Who’s Who of for-profit health-care companies and lobbyists, with extraordinary access to administration officials. For them, the Affordable Care Act is mainly about using cronyism to improve their bottom line. For the White House, it is an inconvenient truth which shows how far it has strayed from the promises of Obama’s 2008 campaign and his image as the “Messiah” America was looking for after eight years of George W. Bush’s administration and its alleged overly-close relationship with corporate America.

By Being Latino Contributor, Jeffery Cassity. Jeffery Cassity writes weekly for the Being Latino! website and writes regularly for the Sacramento Press website. His articles have also appeared previously in the El Conquistador newspaper(Milwaukee, Wisconsin), the Kenosha(WI) News and the Sacramento(CA) News & Review. Jeff also has written a number of unproduced(so far) feature movie and TV pilots which he hopes to turn into a late in life career in Hollywood, Mexico City, Beijing and/or Dublin. Follow him on Twitter @jcassity05. Also read his blog containing all his written articles I am Puddin’.


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