Lots of talk about the impending arrival of Obamacare – in particular, the oxymoronic “market exchanges” set to open in a few days. This is of a piece with government-ese such as calling the captives at the DMV or IRS “customers.” It’s not a market when you’re forced to buy – anymore than you are a customer when you have no choice about being there.
Anyhow, the aspect of this foul business I wanted to rant about is the suggestion – repeatedly made – that Obamacare will save young workers so much money.
I was a young worker once. Want to know how I saved money?
By not signing up for health insurance – which is something most 24-year-olds need about as much as most 80-year-olds need a skateboard.
Sure, you might break a leg. It’s possible, I suppose, that a 24-year-old could develop a serious illness such as cancer. Possible – but not very.
Hardly, more like it.
It’s sensible, therefore – and neither irresponsible nor (as the collectivists style it) “selfish” – to skip insurance in one’s young 20s – and instead save the money and put it toward the things that will make later life more financially secure – which will then allow you to deal with medical problems far better than you’d be able to if you haven’t built wealth by then.
How, exactly, is a young man or woman supposed to save up the 10 percent cash payment most lenders demand in order to qualify for a home loan when one is handing over $300 a month to the insurance Mafia? Even if it’s only $200 a month, it adds up real quick. $2,400 a year – for say five years, from 24 to 29 – and (poof!) there went $12,000. How many recent college grads, just starting out in their chosen profession, can afford to toss $12k?
So, I did an inventory. I was young. I was healthy. I neither smoked nor drank (much). It seemed to me to be a low risk, high-yield thing to skip the insurance. To accept the slight possibility that I might have to deal with a major medical issue vs. the absolute certainty of throwing $12k out the window.
Instead, I put that money toward my first house. Which put me in the position to be able to buy my next house. Which enabled me to build wealth rather than give it away.
These notions – risk taking, cost-benefit analysis and most of all, free choice, are anathema under Obamacare. The government will decide for you which risks are too risky; will take away your freedom to choose. Today’s 24-year-olds will find it much harder to build wealth because their wealth will be taken from them – along with their liberty.
The smart ones know this already. The dumb ones – the ones who believe there is such a thing as a free lunch – and the collectivized ones, who want to make other people pay for theirs – are about to learn a rude lesson.
I’m glad I’m not 24 anymore.