The crafters of Obamacare assumed that once they passed it and found out what was in it that millions of young Americans would buy health insurance, and the premiums paid by the young would subsidize the premiums for older, sicker Americans. What they failed to realize is that we’re all consumers, and that when something becomes too expensive people will stop consuming it.
Unfortunately, health insurance is a product, not a social vision. What we know to be true thanks to ample survey and analytic research is that in 2014, Obamacare will cause insurance premiums to rise sharply for the healthy and young. When it comes to products, Americans aged 18 to 40 act like consumers of all ages everywhere: They have a price point, and when the price gets too high, they get busy making changes.
Evidence of these changes was gathered in late March and early April of this year, when the American Action Forum sponsored the first national poll of this demographic, specifically testing what effects various premium increases would have on consumers’ willingness to purchase coverage. Respondents were those who already purchase insurance and had very specific information regarding their monthly premiums and the penalty they would pay if they failed to continue to buy insurance. They were also provided with the dollars they would have to fork over if premiums rose 10 percent, 20 percent or 30 percent.
The results are illuminating. In this group of current insurance purchasers, only 83 percent will still purchase if premiums rise 10 percent; 65 percent, if premiums rise 20 percent; and only 55 percent, if premiums rise 30 percent. The economic lesson is simple: As premiums rise, eventually, some consumers reach a price point at which they simply stop buying health insurance. (Read More)
I wonder how long it will be until they increase the fines for not buying health insurance.