'Don't Insure Me, Bro!': Why Obamacare Critics Focus on Young Dudes

Anti-Obamacare Campaign targets young, healthy men
In January, one of Obamacare's most controversial provisions will come into effect: Every person in America will be required to either have health insurance or pay a penalty. Overall, the effect will likely be a net positive: Because of subsidies, the cost of insurance will be kept down for many households, and in many states, a Medicaid expansion will help even more families pay for their healthcare. But while the outlook is great for millions of workers, things are going to be tougher for at least one group: healthy, financially secure men in their twenties.

So, guess which group Obamacare critics have focused on when they attack the effects of the program? I'll give you three guesses, but you'll probably only need one.

On Wednesday, New York magazine's Jonathan Chait pointed out the surprising trend, noting that critics of the Affordable Care Act have almost universally cited the group in their attacks. Likening the move to an old-time patent medicine show ("You, sir - the healthy 25-year-old in front who has never been hospitalized or needed medication in his life! Step right up!"), he suggested that the attacks on Obamacare are, to put it mildly, skewed.

On the surface, targeting the law's impact on healthy 25-year-old men seems like a masterstroke. After all, it's hard to argue for the fairness of a system that charges healthy young people to pay for the health care needs of sickly older ones. The trouble is, today's healthy 25-year-old male could easily become tomorrow's hit-and-run victim, desperately in need of long-term medical care. And, barring that, today's healthy 20-something will, with any luck, become a less-healthy 50-something, in need of an affordable method to cover his medications and regular doctor's visits.

(Or, as happened to me when I was an uninsured man in my mid-20s, today's healthy young 25-year-old could be tomorrow's guy paying out-of-pocket for wisdom teeth extraction.)

Obamacare has numerous provisions that will extend coverage and make health insurance cheaper. Among other things, it will help cover the Medicare Part D coverage gap, will end exclusions for pre-existing conditions, and will require health care plans to cover preventative care. For tens of millions of people, these provisions, and others, will translate into lower medical costs, a previously unimaginable access to health care, and a generally improved quality of life. Given the huge potential benefits, maybe it's time for Obamacare's critics to stop shedding crocodile tears for the relatively small portion of the populace that is going to have to take one for the team -- and, in the process, get insurance that may well make them safer and healthier.

Bruce Watson is DailyFinance's Savings editor. You can reach him by e-mail at bruce.watson@teamaol.com, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Timing Your Spending

How to pay less by changing when you purchase.

View Course »

Advice for Recent College Grads

Prepare yourself for the "real world".

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:


June 10 2013 at 11:06 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Not to menton, the way harry and nancy tweaked the whole deem and pass thing was unlawul.

June 10 2013 at 11:05 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to h.hughjardon's comment

I know dear. It was shameful the way I had to bribe members of my own party to pass it darling. I twisted a few arms too doll.

June 10 2013 at 11:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The second section, "Proletarians and Communists", starts by stating the relationship of conscious communists to the rest of the working class, declaring that they will not form a separate party that opposes other working-class parties, will express the interests and general will of the proletariat as a whole, and will distinguish themselves from other working-class parties by always expressing the common interest of the entire proletariat independently of all nationalities and representing the interests of the movement as a whole.[14]

The section goes on to defend communism from various objections, such as the claim that communists advocate "free love", and the claim that people will not perform labour in a communist society because they have no incentive to work.[14] The section ends by outlining a set of short-term demands:

1.Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.

2.A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

3.Abolition of all right of inheritance.

4.Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.

5.Centralisation of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.

6.Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.

7.Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a c
common plan.

8.Equal liability of all to labour. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

9.Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of the population over the country.

10.Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labour in its present form and combination of education with industrial production.

The implementation of these policies would, as believed by Marx and Engels, be a precursor to the stateless and classless society. In a controversial passage they suggested that the "proletariat" might in competition with the bourgeoisie be compelled to organise as a class, form a revolution, make itself a ruling class, sweep away the old conditions of production, and in that step have abolished its own supremacy as a class.This account of the transition from socialism to communism was criticised particularly during and after the Soviet era.

Now ask yourselves...How many of these ten planks from marx/engels communist manifesto sound like the very same things that present day politicians, pundits are saying...right now? I mean, at least half of these they scream for.

the next time a slick talking unknown campaigns on 'fundmentally transforming America',don't just drink the kool aid. Find out his background before casting your vote

June 10 2013 at 11:01 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

And when you get a chance look up communism. You apparently don't know the definition.

[kom-yuh-niz-uhm] Show IPA

1.a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state.

2.( often initial capital letter ) a system of social organization in which all economic and social activity is controlled by a totalitarian state dominated by a single and self-perpetuating political party.

3.( initial capital letter ) the principles and practices of the Communist party.

noun \ˈkäm-yə-ˌni-zəm, -yü-\

Definition of COMMUNISM

1 a: a theory advocating elimination of private property

b: a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed

2 capitalized

a: a doctrine based on revolutionary Marxian socialism and Marxism-Leninism that was the official ideology of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

b: a totalitarian system of government in which a single authoritarian party controls state-owned means of production

c: a final stage of society in Marxist theory in which the state has withered away and economic goods are distributed equitably

d: communist systems collectively

Sums up the agenda of the lefitists that have hjacked the Democratic party.....then they get all butt-hurt when you use the word to describe them.

June 10 2013 at 10:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to h.hughjardon's comment

Good job. Now will you be able to use the word properly in the future?

June 10 2013 at 11:00 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to clark8642's comment

Oh my what a snob you are dear.

June 10 2013 at 11:05 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down

Ihave been using the word for the las 20 years..and get told by al you smartest mother effers in the room regardless of the size tell me that I dont know the meaning of the word.

June 10 2013 at 11:04 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to h.hughjardon's comment

By Matt Cover  January 31, 2013(CNSNews.com) – In a final regulation issued Wednesday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assumed that under Obamacare the cheapest health insurance plan available in 2016 for a family will cost $20,000 for the year.Under Obamacare, Americans will be required to buy health insurance or pay a penalty to the IRS.The IRS's assumption that the cheapest plan for a family will cost $20,000 per year is found in examples the IRS gives to help people understand how to calculate the penalty they will need to pay the government if they do not buy a mandated health plan.The examples point to families of four and families of five, both of which the IRS expects in its assumptions to pay a minimum of $20,000 per year for a bronze plan.“The annual national average bronze plan premium for a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) is $20,000,” the regulation says.Bronze will be the lowest tier health-insurance plan available under Obamacare--after Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Under the law, the penalty for not buying health insurance is supposed to be capped at either the annual average Bronze premium, 2.5 percent of taxable income, or $2,085.00 per family in 2016.In the new final rules published Wednesday, IRS set in law the rules for implementing the penalty Americans must pay if they fail to obey Obamacare's mandate to buy insurance.To help illustrate these rules, the IRS presented examples of different situations families might find themselves in.In the examples, the IRS assumes that families of five who are uninsured would need to pay an average of $20,000 per year to purchase a Bronze plan in 2016.Using the conditions laid out in the regulations, the IRS calculates that a family earning $120,000 per year that did not buy insurance would need to pay a "penalty" (a word the IRS still uses despite the Supreme Court ruling that it is in fact a "tax") of $2,400 in 2016.For those wondering how clear the IRS's clarifications of this new "penalty" rule are, here is one of the actual examples the IRS gives:“Example 3. Family without minimum essential coverage."(i) In 2016, Taxpayers H and J are married and file a joint return. H and J have three children: K, age 21, L, age 15, and M, age 10. No member of the family has minimum essential coverage for any month in 2016. H and J’s household income is $120,000. H and J’s applicable filing threshold is $24,000. The annual national average bronze plan premium for a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) is $20,000."(ii) For each month in 2016, under paragraphs (b)(2)(ii) and (b)(2)(iii) of this section, the applicable dollar amount is $2,780 (($695 x 3 adults) + (($695/2) x 2 children)). Under paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, the flat dollar amount is $2,085 (the lesser of $2,780 and $2,085 ($695 x 3)). Under paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the excess income amount is $2,400 (($120,000 - $24,000) x 0.025). Therefore, under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the monthly penalty amount is $200 (the greater of $173.75 ($2,085/12) or $200 ($2,400/12))."(iii) The sum of the monthly penalty amounts is $2,400 ($200 x 12). The sum of the monthly national average bronze plan premiums is $20,000 ($20,000/12 x 12). Therefore, under paragraph (a) of this section, the shared responsibility payment imposed on H and J for 2016 is $2,400 (the lesser of $2,400 or $20,000).”

June 10 2013 at 9:01 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to h.hughjardon's comment

Sorry ...stuff doesn't format well on my phone.

June 10 2013 at 10:05 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

I do recall the weeper of the house saying,..........The Affordable Healthcare Act is the law of the land.


I said the penalty for not having insurance was not a tax and when it suited my needs I then said it was a tax. So as usual I lied. Now the American people are finding out many of the lies I've told about the healthcare bill catastrophe.

June 10 2013 at 6:46 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to obamasacrybaby's comment

Lied? Wrong according to Chief Justice Roberts as part of his ruling, with four other Justices that the ACA was institutional.

June 10 2013 at 7:57 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
5 replies to clark8642's comment

Only the IGNORANT think the current system can continue.
You NEED health insurance, like it or not!

Just like you need SOME kind of retirement plan...
Yes, many will die off long before retirement - but that's what makes the system work for the rest of us!

June 10 2013 at 9:34 AM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply

Iove how every one of your referencss come from left wing sources.

I gotta up at 4 am. And you can't engage in a conversation without Pointing me left for your argument.
You're too lazy to even copy paste it.


June 10 2013 at 1:25 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to h.hughjardon's comment

Good night and pleasant dreams. And hopefully we will all get better healthcare going forward without bankrupting the country. Whether that comes from the Affordable Care Act or some other source I really don't care.

June 10 2013 at 1:30 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to clark8642's comment

As someone who has paid for health insurance (small company plan) for the past few years I find nothing good for myself out of Obama Care. My rates have gone up faster since Obama Care was passed and I don't get any benefits - I don't need free birth control.

I suspect Obama Care will be - in the words of Max Baucus (a Democrate) a Train Wreck). It will cost me and every other current health plan patient - despite Obama's promise for a $2,500 per family reduction. And I'll bet that only a few million more Americans get insurance - and most will be on Medicaid which most Dr's don't even touch.

This is a train coming down the track too fast into a sharp turn..

June 10 2013 at 3:29 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down

This shlt is gonna cost us another $1.8 trillion according to the CBO. Rates for individuals coukd rise as much as 200%. It will still leave ~30 million uninsured.

June 10 2013 at 8:49 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down

Clark fold your ny times blog and stick it up your ........

Let's try it this way. Did roberts say it was a penalty? Or did he say it was a tax for non-compliance?

June 10 2013 at 1:16 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to h.hughjardon's comment

If you would read the article you would know that he found the law constitutional based on the Congress authority to tax. Does it make a difference to you why he, along with four other Justices, found the law constitutional? Really? Get over it. The law IS CONSTITUTIONAL. And no amount of whining will change that..

June 10 2013 at 1:22 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to clark8642's comment

So why are the costs so high clark?

June 10 2013 at 1:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to h.hughjardon's comment

h.hughjardon - we all know why the costs are so damn high. There is no way to fund (pick a number of new people given 'subsidized' insurance) new people onto any health plan without charging those on current plans more.. It's simple math. The new taxes (1 Trillion $ worth) won't pay for this program. The only way(s) to pay for these new formal people is to 1) raise rates for existing health plan coverages and/or 2) raise the USA Federal Govt debt.

Life is that simple.

June 10 2013 at 3:37 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply