It’s a concern we’ve been hearing everywhere – in town hall meetings, interviews, newspaper editorials and blogs. Are we mortgaging our kids’ future to pay for health care reform?
Many are worried that the younger generation, already burdened with student loans, other debt and a terrible job market, would bear the brunt of responsibility for paying for health care reform. Right now, our national debt is more than $11 trillion and rising.
Although President Obama has promised he won’t sign any reform that adds to the deficit, it is still unclear how much the “young invincibles” – relatively healthy young adults – will have to pay to get themselves insured.
“Certainly those young people who don't have insurance today are going to be required to go out and buy insurance,” says Michael Tanner of the libertarian Cato Institute. “Some of them of course will receive subsidies, but those who don't are going to have pay something that they're not paying today.”
Currently, about 10 million Americans aged nineteen to twenty-six don’t have health insurance, according to the Urban Institute. Janos Marton, a 27-year-old law school grad, is one of them.
“I'm looking for private insurance right now and I can, I can afford some insurance, um you know, I'm not broke or anything, I have income. But right now costs are just out of control,” he says.
A recent Washington Post/ABC News Poll shows 58-percent of young adults favor health care reform. This doesn’t surprise Heather Smith, executive director of Rock The Vote. “More than any other age group, they believe that this is a right. That it's embarrassing that we in the United States are the only democracy that doesn’t have universal health care coverage for its citizens.”
Experts say that under the proposed Senate plan, a bare bones “catastrophic” policy for young people may end up costing them less than $200 a month, with an annual deductible of close to $6000. Critics say paying for reform will mean higher taxes – on something.
Janos Marton says he is willing to listen, though – despite concerns that such ideas will bankrupt his future. "I'm just happy to for any chance to participate in a more serious discourse than what we hear from these town halls.”
What do you think? Will our kids pay through the nose?
Filed under: Just Sayin'
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