Why Compel Young Adults to Buy Health Insurance They Don't Need and Don't Want?
Barack Obama won the presidency with 66% of the vote among adults ages 18 to 29 - a larger share than any presidential candidate in decades. So it's ironic that his health plan could impose its greatest hidden taxes on young adults.
Young adults make up just 17% of the population but account for 31% of the uninsured. The legislation before Congress would force young adults to purchase health insurance at prices far higher than the market would charge. The legislation would use that hidden tax to reduce premiums for their parents, who typically have higher incomes.
Since about one-third of young adults already reject health insurance at current prices, even more of them would avoid coverage if Congress drives those prices higher. Congress anticipates that response. Each bill includes an "individual mandate," which would force U.S. residents to purchase health insurance, whether they want it or not, on penalty of fines or imprisonment.
Why would Congress compel young adults to purchase health insurance they don't want to buy, at prices higher than they have already rejected? There are at least four possible reasons.
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