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September 25th, 2009
06:25 AM ET

Will our kids pay through the nose?

By Carol Costello and Ronnie Berke

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'
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. five dimensional

    No, they will not because we are as a world community continue to expand. Undoubtedly to those who live and work and those who will pay continue on to create new persons who will create new revenue and ideas. It will of course balance out because we as humans are a dynamic group who procreate. We will make and do what is needed and will always continue to want to provide for all because we care. Correct – right wing/ remember (those who are God fearing with no condemnation)? oops you forgot that part because you are filled with ungodly anger. Work on that. Find a new place of worship because you are killing the love for all venue that you are suppose to be instilling to the world. New leadership in churches? Food for thought. But we still love you, but it is getting hard. You are the minority speaking of the condescending religious right of the United States of America. Humility instead of anger will launch the world into a world of love instead of division.

    October 14, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  2. Fred Nielsen

    Unfortunately without a public option the insurance companies will just rape the people more, create larger deficits & cause more hardship. The insurance companies are already saying rates will have to go up by 60% meaning that Health care will soar towards 30 cents of every dollar of income in the United States.
    This is triple the cost in other countries. There is no way that this sort of cost can be handled by the economy ever, no matter how strong the economy becomes. In fact this will likely hurt the economy further as the amount of disposable income dwindles the less chance you will be spending on new furniture,cars,restaurant meals & holidays. Thus there are more jobs in Jeopardy and further damage to the economy.
    I will never understand the terror of the public option, when insurance companies are spending Hundreds of millions on lobbying to keep the status quo you may figure that the status quo is better for them then it is for the patient.
    Can you imagine how quickly the economy, the National debt & peoples availability to health care would improve if Health Care costs dropped to half & everyone was covered.
    The only way to save the further decline really is with controls on costs (caps on fees) Tax on excessive profits (bonuses of 10's of millions for CEO's are obscene)& should be taxed at 90%. These are dollars that you pay these companies over & above the service or product you receive are actually worth. With controls on profits & prices there is a chance that America may stand a chance of reducing its debt.
    11 Trillion dollars someone stated as the debt, this is $40,000 per American from newborn to freshly buried. This does not include state debt,municipal debt or your own personal debt, credit cards, home loans & car loans etc.I really don't see how this can go on. It is time to take back the country from the Robber Barons of modern day society.

    October 14, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  3. matt

    it seems ood to me to have this discussion. i dont get it when we have to have charity of doctors that usually go to third world countries going to U.S. cities. it should say we have a major problem because last time i checked we were not a third world country.
    there is a whole generation that is graduating from colleges that go up faster than infation so it puts them more and more in debt.. if the projections if we do nothing is true health care will raise even higher. what kind of life can theses kids have with school and medical bills. bring on the public option. the insurance compainies had their chance and blew it

    October 7, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  4. Dirk Peddler

    Not just our kids will pay, our grand kids and their kids and grandkids will pay for this president's, shopping spree.... and what did he buy? Junk, junk bonds, junk stocks, junk banks, junk car manufacterors. Not a single thing that will is worth a penny. He's not a president, he's a shopaholic, with a taste for dollar stores.

    October 1, 2009 at 7:21 am |
  5. John

    There are many ways that real reform including a public option will reduce costs. Ways that the budget offices can't factor in so they say it will cost more. We are already paying for the uninsured with our tax dollars, and it's incredibly inefficient.
    An interesting thing to think about: how many people are ready to retire, have savings invested, could live off of it but can't because health insurance costs too much? Or they aren't sure that their insurance company would drop them if they get sick? It happens all the time and people go bankrupt, lose their homes. Give us a government run, public option and I'd bet that many would retire, freeing up jobs for others.

    September 30, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  6. kgreenlee

    Our Kids will pay through the nose for bank bailouts and wars! Why is it a grandkid issue when it comes to doing what is morally right. What is wrong with this nation? People claiming to be Christians appear to be just EVIL.

    September 29, 2009 at 8:42 am |
  7. MC

    Federal universal health insurance is purely unconstitutional. Period! I favor such dialogue at the state level. The 10th Amendment clearly states that the Federal government cannot regulate/legislate anything unless clearly given those powers by the Constitution. The States are to take care of the rest.

    If you want to have the proposed universal coverage, you need to call a Constitutional Convention and amend this part of the Bill of Rights.

    This is still a Republic, right?

    For a better explanation, check out this link.

    September 28, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  8. John

    If things keep going as they are yes. I wish our politicians would get real NOW and raise taxes. This idea we have that we can have everything and not pay for it is silly. As another writer said, we are in a national emergency with and 11 trillion dollar debt, time for us all to roll up our sleeves and get busy.

    September 28, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  9. George

    Yes our kids and possibly our grandkids will pay through the nose, because the iresponsible demagogues of the republican party have failed to do their patriotic duty as far as fiscal integrity goes.

    Reagan never payed for anything all was put on the charge card and simultaneously cut taxes to the rich reducing the incoming revenue to the government. Reagan left us with 5 trillion dollar deficit and this exact plan was followed by Bush two, while Bush one presented us with bank failures costing us the taxpayers a trillion dollars.

    And now these same demagogues are crying saying we can't afford a public option style of healthcare. Realy? it's an investment stupid bad cops on the take. Your self serving speeches about fiscal responsibility sounds hollow, empty words, compared to Obama's noble healthcare idea.
    George Deerfield Beach Florida

    September 28, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  10. Angie

    During the last eight years the Republican party spent money on bailing out both GM and Crysler when they threatened to lay off employees and shut down plants. Those threats came were before the holidays.
    Yet no one tried to stop it, and the two major manufacturing companies laid off workers anyway. REMEMBER?

    Now when the entire Health Care system is on the verge of collapse and we can do something to fix it before the point-of-no-return, it is the Republican party who is stopping the only cure for the ailing Health care system. Now when we do have the possibility of performing a life saving surgery on the dieing American Health Care System it is the Republican party who want to pull the plug.

    Take the power away from the CEO's of the insurance companies who told my doctor to give me a sugar pill to fight off both the upper and lower respiratory infections. It is time to put the power back into the hands of the doctor and the patient.

    Yes I do want to stick it to the insurance companies with the public option.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  11. Dorothy G.

    We have all and will all be paying through the nose because of the top one percent that got so greedy they decided it was better to bankrupt the country than to do anything that would be in the best interest of the country as a whole. The only way we will be worse off is if the Republicans get another chance to rip us off. Maybe Carol and her cronies think that will happen, but I think we are much wiser, stronger and more diverse than we have been in some time. Sorry Carol.

    September 28, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  12. LAMB-LI, NY

    If we continue to worry about tomorrow we will never move forward. We need to resolve the issues at hand and remember, "don't worry about tomorrow, tomorrow may never come". Be responsible but not to the point where nothing gets done. We have to fix the problems and leave an opening for further tweaking and resolution for any furture issues that come up... If the "love of money" didn't come before the welfare of others we wouldn't be in this situation. Nothing wrong with doing well but making billions because you're not providing services to people who paid for them is down right the lowest, most disgusting form of business practice and these people should not only be prosecuted but drawn and quartered!! geeez

    September 28, 2009 at 9:21 am |
  13. michael

    dosnt anybody care the amount of debt two wars put us in at least money is being spent on us for a change instead of other countries that dont do anything for us, does anybody crae that the same people that oppose most of obamas policies also want to keep wasting money on afganistan not to mention the almost 5000 casualties of the war,its not being fought with toy soldiers these are somebodys sons and daughters dying for what and dont say so you can protest you can do that regardless. protest the war not healthcare or anything eles that would benefit our country its about time we started taking care of ourselves instead of everyone else

    September 28, 2009 at 8:51 am |
  14. michael

    most of the hard working fools protesting health care are the poor misguided souls that would benefit from it in the first place. people on welfare dont need it they get free health care. its the working poor that dont have it . use your brains people just because he is black dont cut off your nose to spite your face. if you are going to protest something at least know what it is you are protesting thats why people are screaming racism. when somebody is talking about socialism,communism,marxism. being a muslim or not being a citizen then you need to go find out what you are really angry about because we dont get it

    September 28, 2009 at 8:43 am |
  15. Richard

    I think the point everyone is missing is how far in debt will/would we be if we do not fix healthcare, save the car industry, fix our infrastructure, fix our schools and on and on...
    All I see from the Anti-Obama groups are complete denial of our countries problems and no solutions to fix it... only wanting to go back to the Ward and June Cleaver era which will never return and we have to catch up with the rest of the world to stay competative in an era where technology is moving at the speed of light or be destine to a third world life here...
    They tout this is the best health system in the world, it is not, we are down on the list... the media is missing the boat in not getting the truth out there and calling out those with facts when they try to push their propaganda via the airwaves...

    September 28, 2009 at 8:16 am |
  16. jay m

    They are going to be paying out of sight premiums through their noses if reform doesn't happen, you've got insurance CEOs making 24 million a year, and still wanting more.

    September 26, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  17. jim vicalvi

    jay m- The surplus went to pay for all of the legal bills to investigate and convict the corrupt people that billary appointed. And, to pay off all of the people who let slick willie get free. Maybe to buy a box or two of cigars for later use.

    September 25, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  18. indiana Granda

    I have had company insurance since 1982- 1995 almost 100% paid, then reality set in even at a fortune 400 company, and now I pay $5000 in company premiums, then deductibles. I would much rather pay $2-3k in taxes and get the insurance. My kids can't afford insurance on their $8-12 / hr jobs, even with a degree, if we are "forcing" this generation and future to work for less, we should be picking up the slack we are no longer affording them. No more pensions, no insurance, no vacations, We have taken all incentive away from the future workers to strive for better jobs, they dont exist unless you are on Wall St or Government, and they dont' want to move overseas. So who will be paying my medicare when I retire and need it? Not the kids in bankruptcy

    September 25, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  19. jay m

    What happened to the surplus Clinton had when he left office.

    September 25, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  20. Pauly

    If a youngster who is uninsured comes down w/ a chronic illness, he/she will pay through the nose. As we all know, anyone can receive health care in an ER, at taxayer expense. But ER's don't treat chronic illnesses. If a dx is made, they now have a pre-existing condition. This is just one reason that health care reform is necessary.
    One thing no one mentions is that w/ so many uninsured people not getting treated by a regular doctor, they open themselves up to a variety of diseases. Some of these are contagious & they spread it to others. MRSA is an epidemic, TB is becoming more of a danger now after almost being wiped out, we are now in the midst of a swine flu pandemic, etc. When their symptoms are bad enough, they can be treated in an ER but they most likely have already infected others. When they leave the ER, they can't afford the medications or have to pay through the nose for them. They probably won't go to any follow up appts because they would have to pay out of pocket.
    One way or another, we & our childen & grandchildren will pay through the nose. If we don't get insurance premiums & medical costs under control, we're going to be a lot sicker & in a lot more debt. How many Americans must suffer, die and/or go into bankruptcy before we do something? The status quo is unsustainable for America & Americans!!!

    September 25, 2009 at 8:19 am |
  21. Bernadette Loesch

    Carol, No more than we are paying now to clean up after Bush/Cheney.

    September 25, 2009 at 8:16 am |
  22. Bob in Florida

    They will certainly pay through the nose if there is no reform package. The bill, when signed, will unfortunately have very little Republican influence as they don't seem to want to get engaged in the formulation. They fight anything the Obama Admin puts up regardless of benefit to the American public, in stead, favoring the idea that they will gain seats in Congress if the can stall action. The American people now and in the future desperately need our representatives to work on our behalf, not their own.

    September 25, 2009 at 8:00 am |
  23. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Our kids and grandkids are going to have to pay anyway. We should be deciding if they will pay to enrich all the leeches and middlemen involved with the health care system, or paying for actual health care.
    The older generation, including myself, can help reduce the costs by not demanding all the high-cost procedures available today – available because we are not paying for it. We complain about the debt being left to our children and grandchildren, but we don't hesitate to get that hip or knee replacement when the pain gets so bad that we don't think we can go on. Duh!!!

    September 25, 2009 at 7:34 am |
  24. Sarah Campbell

    Why doesn't cnn do a documentary on universal health care in Mass. It is a disaster, on both the state level as well as the personal level. I f you want chapter and verse you may con tact me, and I can give you and ear ful.

    September 25, 2009 at 7:33 am |
  25. L Power

    If a public option is passed, there is no doubt that our children will end up paying a huge price for the decision of our current administration and representatives. They will pay in terms of debt, higher taxes, failed quality of health care service, lack of service in a timely manner, and lost freedom to choose. Government is ill equipped to manage the health care industry (or the auto industry or the technology industry) as this is not the core competency of government. What our government should do is work to radically overhaul the things that are broken in our current health care system: revamp laws and focus on reducing monopolies, red tape and insurance regionalization that has over time driven up costs and allowed insurance companies and opportunists to pillage Americans and Health care providers.

    September 25, 2009 at 7:08 am |
  26. Ray - Fayetteville, GA

    Wow, what a question. Can anyone doubt that the record deficits and out of control spending will eventually fall on our children, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren? Even though administrations in power get the blame, the fact is that Congress is constitutionally responsible for our financial problems. Any member of Congress having served twenty years or more should resign and go home. They have voted to spend money we don't have without regard to how we can repay it without putting our future citizens at financial risk. The federal budget is the biggest Ponsi scheme in the history of mankind.
    Just look at the affect of the recent so called stimulus package. Billions of dollars, mostly borrowed from the sale of federal bonds to China, that will have to repaid at some point in the future. Higher taxes on our children is the only means available under current law.

    September 25, 2009 at 7:08 am |
  27. Sharon,Daniel Island

    My children responded to this question with' "We can't find jobs,We cant earn enough money to pay the taxes needed to reduce this bill"

    September 25, 2009 at 7:03 am |
  28. ken

    Health care reform will not be costly if congress just allows the 45 million uninsured to use medicare and pay a premium of $200. If the 45 million paid an aveerage premium of $200. that would take in 108 billion dollars which is more than is needed to provide health care for all. The real problem is the national debt which can be paid off quickly if congress were to cut defense spending 10%, eliminate farm aid, cut NASA, leave iraq and afghanistan, and put the tax rates back to the pre-kennedy era which were 60% rates for 250k to 1 million and 90% tax rates for 1 million and above. We have an economic emergency and congress must act. It will of course never happen but all these problems can easily be solved if we had the will to just do it.

    September 25, 2009 at 6:54 am |
  29. John Scognamiglio

    I fall into this young adult category, and quite honestly, even if we do, I don't think it will be as bad as it seems. My peers are graduating from state university with modest grades and all getting decently well-paying jobs. With the retirement of the baby boomers, more jobs are opening up, despite major corporations falling. It also seems easier right now, at least in the area that I live to start your own business. Despite there being Wal Mart, Target, Best Buy, and other such giants knocking a lot of mom&pop shops out of the water, locals are tending to purchase more at these smaller shops with the intent of "keeping money in the area." It's odd to see people gong to Bill's to get a $9 ream of paper when Staples sells the same one for $6, and they're half a mile away.

    The economy is at such a weird position right now, I don't think any one reasoning for what's going on is completely valid.

    As for student loans, as a loan councilor, I will tell you that anybody that falls into a serious debt for college is their own fault. I get countless students who don't really want to be in school, but their parents are making them, they don't read the paperwork and accept unsubsidized loans and not subsidized ones, or they'll apply for six loans because they kept getting denied due to lack of paperwork. They submit the paperwork and get five loans they didn't want, so one semester goes from $10k in loans to $22k in loans. Financial management isn't very difficult, and AES is usually very willing to accommodate deferments, smaller payments, and many other financial troubles.

    September 25, 2009 at 6:47 am |
  30. greg

    Our kids will pay through the nose if the public option is not put into play. The health insurance industry makes obscene profits by denying health benefits to their customers. Other progressive countries don't have this problem because they addressed the health care issue with a oublic option many years ago. When you have a monopoly like the health care insurers currently have, then they control the rise in rates which have quadrupled over the last 10 years.

    September 25, 2009 at 6:41 am |
  31. Kathy

    It is unfortunate our future generations might have to inherit our deficit but my generation did, too. I think it is worse to imagine continuing with no health care for our nation and escalating heath care costs for so many. People cannot afford to pay between $300-600 (if lucky) a month for insurance. Yet, all insurance companies record high profits...why...what is missing here and how are the accumulating such high rewards????

    Somthing has to be done. If the skeptics and town hall participants would read the facts rather than listen to the scare tactics being feed to them, we might be able to make some changes to the proposals and get this passed!!!!

    September 25, 2009 at 6:39 am |
  32. Marcus

    I am under 30, and I support health care reform regardless of the cost. I think it has been watered down to something that is expensive, and will turn into something expensive for me in the future. I thought we should have just expanded Medicare for people who make under $88,000. That would have been cheaper than trying to implement a whole new system.

    September 25, 2009 at 6:36 am |
  33. George

    The debt is getting higher from a number of variables; if public health is developed we have to keep in mind that the job creations will generate taxes and a healthier nation will save money as well. It is about time the pharmaceutical companies keep pumping Americans their drugs.

    September 25, 2009 at 6:35 am |
  34. John Giamundo

    Healthcare reform is necessary. There is no reason why, in a country as wealthy as the USA, anyone should go without the basic necessities of life: food, housing, and health care. The fact that so many cannot afford health care or insurance is disgraceful. Stop this useless war in Iraq and you will easily have the money to pay for this.

    September 25, 2009 at 6:33 am |