Dueling headlines: the Obamacare youth edition


California poll shows young and healthy more likely to seek medical insurance


Claim: ‘Young Adult Exchange Enrollees Disproportionately Low’

Oh, wait! Actually reading the articles explains the inconsistencies. It turns out that the young are willing to sign up if someone else is paying for their insurance, at least according to the first article to which I linked:

The poll finding “runs counters to what a lot of people were expecting,” said Gerald Kominski, a UCLA health care economics professor who believes that what’s persuading young people to plan on signing up is the significant subsidies many will get from Uncle Sam. If those young people follow through on their intentions, he said, it would result in keeping the cost of the new exchange health plans low.

That Gerald Kominski is a healthcare economics professor proves that you don’t need brains for the job. Unless he was misquoted, he said two mutually exclusive things: (1) that young people sign up to get subsidies and (2) that these sign-ups are necessary to fund Obamacare. Excuse me, professor, but Obamacare funding is set up so that young people do not get subsidies. They’re the low insurance users who are being charged a premium for care they usually don’t need so as to fund all the old, sick people.

What this tells me is that young people are saying “yes” to Obamacare when they think their insurance will come to them courtesy of other people’s money.  Then, when they learn that they are the “other people” funding Obamacare, they back off from enrolling, having decided that they don’t really need it.