Students at the University of New Mexico are finding this out the hard way. Because of changes in what health insurers are required to cover, costs for the student health insurance plan are going up 22% this year, or around $300.
It's common sense to see why premiums would go up. The law requires insurers to cover a wide range of things that they may have previously covered in a more limited fashion. For young Americans who tend to only need coverage in the case of a catastrophic situation or for routine check-ups, making insurance cover more means the policy becomes more expensive. Young people are having to pay for services they don't need.
During arguments in front of the Supreme Court earlier this year, the lawyer representing the Obama administration's case for the health care law, Solicitor General Verrilli, admitted as much during testimony:
JUSTICE ALITO:...IF YOU TOOK THE GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO ARE SUBJECT TO THE MANDATE AND YOU CALCULATED THE AMOUNT OF HEALTH CARE SERVICES THIS WHOLE GROUP WOULD CONSUME AND FIGURED OUT THE COST OF AN INSURANCE POLICY TO COVER THE SERVICES THAT GROUP WOULD CONSUME, THE COST OF THAT POLICY WOULD BE MUCH, MUCH LESS THAN THE KIND OF POLICY THAT THESE PEOPLE ARE NOW GOING TO BE REQUIRED TO PURCHASE UNDER THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT?
GENERAL VERRILLI: WELL, WHILE THEY ARE YOUNG AND HEALTHY THAT WOULD BE TRUE.
The Obama administration also knows that in order for their health care law to work, young people have to pay for coverage they don't need in order to subsidize those who do need more care. Already, people pay taxes that fund programs like Medicaid that provide coverage to the poor, and Medicare that provides coverage to the elderly. Under Obamacare, now young people will also pay to subsidize others with their insurance premiums.
Take a look at another exchange from the Supreme Court arguments, talking about how the system shifts costs onto the young:
JUSTICE KAGAN: AND THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE, ISN'T IT, GENERAL VERRILLI, BECAUSE IN THIS CONTEXT, THE SUBSIDIZERS EVENTUALLY BECOME THE SUBSIDIZED?
GENERAL VERRILLI: WELL, THAT WAS THE POINT I WAS TRYING TO MAKE, JUSTICE KAGAN, THAT YOU'RE YOUNG AND HEALTHY ONE DAY, BUT YOU DON'T STAY THAT WAY. AND THE â€” THE SYSTEM WORKS OVER TIME.
Obama wants to sell the health care law as great for young people, but this is just one more huge expense being pushed onto our generation. It's already hard enough for many of us to start a career and save for the future, much less afford the health care costs that are skyrocketing even higher under the new regulations. What was sold as a great deal for Americans is turning out to be a lousy deal, especially for our generation.