Key assumption of Obamacare is crap--but don't worry, everything's right on track!
Liberals, of course, hailed California's press release as showing that Obamacare would be able to provide excellent health insurance to all, at a price lower than anyone was paying before. (Remember the infamous promise that "Everyone's health costs will go down"?)
But one of the core assumptions about Obamacare--one on which its economic viability is totally dependent--is that millions of young, healthy people will begin buying health insurance, starting now. This assumption, of course, is unrealistic in the extreme.
To put it a different way: The only way insurers can afford to do things like accept pre-existing conditions at no extra cost is if they're collecting billions in premiums from healthy young people who rarely have many medical expenses. If young, healthy people don't buy insurance, the system collapses.
The problem is that at the moment, most younger Americans don’t bother to buy health insurance.
Ah, but the brilliant Democratic staffers who crafted Obamacare had that one covered: They simply included a provision in the bill commanding everyone over the age of 18 to buy health insurance!
Very canny, very clever, these Democrats.
Problem is, in 2014 the penalty--whether it's called a "fine" or a "tax" depends on which side of the argument the government chooses to take at that moment, and what question is being pursued--for failing to buy health insurance is either $95 or 1 percent of taxable income.
Hey, you say, that doesn't sound like a problem!
But consider that the cheapest individual health insurance policy offered by the California exchange will cost $1,944 per year.
See the problem yet?
If you're a liberal/Democrat/"progressive" you almost certainly don't. It's that if healthy 20-somethings rarely buy health insurance *now* (because they don't think it's a good deal now), and the penalty/tax for *continuing* to not buy it is about $1800 less than the cost of buying it, what makes any sane adult think a significant number will rush out and buy health insurance?
Ooops. There goes the core fiscal assumption.
But wait, it gets better! Obama just unilaterally decreed (gotta love those decrees) that for the first year at least, for some unexplained reason the gummint would not be checking the income status of people who apply for the "free" health insurance that's cited as the program's signature achievement. A handful of cynics speculated that this declaration just might, possibly, lead to even more fraud and waste of tax dollars, as everyone and his uncle presented themselves to the DHS claiming utter poverty.
Of course that surely won't happen. Because Obama supporters are all fine, upstanding Americans who would never lie to get more gummint bennies.