Feb 11, 2013 7:09 PM GMT
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/02/11/dont-worry-kids-obamacare-is-a-good-deal/The obvious problem, as others have pointed out, being “young” is an unusual demographic category in that it’s temporary. At the moment, I’m white, and barring some truly unforeseen circumstances, I’m going to remain white for some time. Conversely, while I’m young at the moment, I fully expect to get older. A policy that’s a bad deal for me now might be a good deal for me soon. Smith waves this away by saying he’s talking about “the current young,” but that’s an odd category, to say the least. By his logic, young workers should be out in the streets protesting 401(k)s.
The less obvious problem with Smith’s piece is that it focuses on only two provisions of the law: The insurance mandate and the limits on age discrimination. On their own, both policies redistribute from the young to the old. But they’re not on their own, or even close to it. And many of the other provisions — none of which he mentions — in the law hugely subsidize the young.
Perhaps the most obvious and overwhelming form of redistribution in the law is from the insured to the uninsured. And young people are much more likely to be uninsured: