The following opinion column is part of a student discussion on the recent government shutdown.
Much has been made of the current government shutdown. The root of this problem isn’t lack of bipartisanship, it’s the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, which hurts young people and damages the market.
Obamacare forces young people to pay more for health insurance in order to pay for older people’s health insurance, which is costlier than ours. It also forbids health insurance companies from denying people coverage because of pre-existing conditions. A health insurance company refusing to cover someone because of a pre-existing condition may sound callous, but that’s how the insurance market works.
Just as no company would provide someone with insurance for his house the day after it burned down, no health insurance company has any interest in insuring people who have pre-existing conditions. It would be one thing if the government came up with a plan to start subsidizing high-risk pools where those with pre-existing conditions could obtain insurance, but the government instead chose to force everyone into the market.
Many of the plans in the state health insurance marketplace – the exchange – will cover abortion. Anyone who selects a plan with abortion coverage will pay a second fee every month on top of his or her premium just for abortion coverage. People can’t opt out of the coverage unless they switch to a plan that doesn’t include abortions. And you may not know your plan covers it until the very last minute, when it’s too late to opt out.
It’s apparently not enough to feed Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion chain, $542 million in taxpayer money per year. The federal government has chosen Planned Parenthood to be a “Navigator” for Obamacare, which will mean that in addition raking in money from its “Navigator” grant, the abortion giant will be trying to convince its customers to sign up for Obamacare. Even more alarmingly, thanks to Obamacare, a portion of your taxes will subsidize people who choose abortion in their new federally subsidized health care plans. The abortion industry is already licking its greedy chops.
Another disturbing portion of Obamacare is its peculiar unfairness toward married couples. Obamacare counts a married dual-income couple as having one income, whereas it counts an unmarried, cohabiting, dual-income couple as having two separate incomes. This means cohabiting couples will be treated as having lower incomes, thus granting them higher health care subsidies. So, if two couples make the same amount of money but one couple is cohabitating and the other couple is married, the married couple will suffer financially under Obamacare. Obamacare’s unnecessary “wedding tax” penalizes married couples every year of their marriage, too. Why get married, anyway?
Companies like Subway and Wendy’s are cutting employee hours to fewer than 30 hours a week so they don’t have to comply with the Obamacare mandate to provide their employees with expensive health insurance.
It’s easy to ridicule conservatives for talking about Obamacare “death panels,” but health care rationing is real and coming soon to a hospital near you. Obamacare’s independent payment advisory boards allow a panel of strangers to decide how much money a person can spend on health care. It doesn’t matter if that person can pay for it all out of pocket, he or she simply won’t be allowed to.
Obamacare is bad news for our generation.
Claire Chretien is a junior majoring in public relations and American studies. Her column runs biweekly on Tuesdays.