After noting that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid spending totaled $1.3 trillion, 43 percent of federal spending and more than twice military spending, in 2008, the Washington Post‘s Robert Samuelson turns to Obamacare:
Now comes the House-passed health-care “reform” bill that, amazingly, would extract more subsidies from the young. It mandates that health insurance premiums for older Americans be no more than twice the level of that for younger Americans. That’s much less than the actual health spending gap between young and old. Spending for those age 60 to 64 is four to five times greater than those 18 to 24. So, the young would overpay for insurance that — under the House bill — people must buy: Twenty- and thirtysomethings would subsidize premiums for fifty-and sixtysomethings. (Those 65 and over receive Medicare.)
Although premium changes would apply mainly to people using insurance “exchanges,” the differences would be substantial. A single person 55 to 64 might save $3,490, estimates an Urban Institute study. By contrast, single people in their 20s and early 30s might pay about $600 to $1,100 more. For the young, the extra cost might be larger, says economist Diana Furchtgott-Roth of the Hudson Institute, because the House bill would require them to purchase fairly generous insurance plans rather than cheaper catastrophic coverage that might better suit their needs.
Whatever the added burden, it would darken the young’s already poor economic prospects. Unemployment among 16- to 24-year-olds is 19 percent. Peter Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget, notes on his blog that high joblessness depresses young workers’ wages and that the adverse effect — though diminishing — “is still statistically significant 15 years later.” Lost wages over 20 years could total $100,000. Orszag doesn’t mention that health-care “reform” might compound the loss.
Samuelson also goes after the AARP, so read the whole thing, here.