As promised, the new House of Representatives is moving toward an up-or-down vote to repeal the enormous and fatally-flawed 2010 health care bill (now law). I look forward to the vote, scheduled for next Wednesday and hope it will not result in a merely partisan exercise but will carry a goodly number of Democrats along with the House Republican majority.
Of course, Rep. Woolsey will not be among those who will vote to repeal. She has been busy tweeting “alarms” about the “harm” that would supposedly be done if the law (officially called the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act (PPACA)) is repealed. Just yesterday, she wrote, “Repeal health care bill #hcr means 196,000 young adults in #California would lose insurance coverage through their parents’ health plans.”
Oh, this sounds awful, doesn’t it? Those poor young adults! They have been on their parents’ policies for generations, right? And now, they will be thrown off unceremoniously by the heartless new Congress that Lynn Woolsey so opposes? Well, in a word, no.
In 2010, in the legalese of PPACA, the Congress and the president decided that a “young adult” was someone aged up to 26. Not 18 or 21, but 26. Should those who are 22-26 be encouraged to remain on their parents’ insurance? Shouldn’t they be encouraged to independence, not dependence during their early 20’s? Rep. Woolsey and her like-minded colleagues think not. They want to insure everyone, whether they want to be or not, and this — claiming that young people are not adults (for health care purposes) until age 26 — is one way they sought to achieve that goal. And since Obamacare makes it more expensive for colleges to continue to offer health insurance policies to their students, keeping the young adults on their parents’ plans probably seemed like a tradeoff to these Congress members. However, this age 26 new health care mandate went into effect on Setember 23, 2010 and actually didn’t affect many/most health care policy rates until January 1, 2011*. It is hardly a long-established entitlement. It can be repealed without many people feeling they’ve suddenly been robbed of something they’ve counted on long-term. Many Americans are of the opinion this so-called benefit should be repealed along with the rest of PPACA.
Not every one of the repeal advocates in Congress agrees though. Rep. Eric Cantor, for instance, stated that he supports retaining “popular” parts of the law, including this particular provision. If the Republican majority agrees with Rep. Cantor, then Rep. Woolsey’s “alarm” is simply alarmist for no reason. And if Rep. Cantor doesn’t speak for the majority view, Lynn Woolsey is defending a portion of PPACA that was unwise at the outset in the view of her current House colleagues… and many other Americans.
We need to remember that provisions such as this are not ‘free.” The “pro” argument for it insists that it is less expensive to retain “older kids” on parents’ plans as dependents than for those young adults to obtain their own coverage. However, this again assumes that all young people want health insurance coverage and its costs. Many healthy young people do not — at least they do not want anything more than catastrophic incident coverage. They don’t want to be in a pool in which they must bear costs for older, less healthy individuals. But politicians like Rep. Woolsey are not interested in what these young people want; these politicos want a universal health care system that forces everyone to participate whether they desire to or not.
*”Insurers must allow parents to keep their adult children up to age 26 on their health plan and those young adults can’t be charged more than any other dependent. Some insurers began this policy early during the summer. BUT: This doesn’t begin until your new plan year begins – for many, that will be Jan. 1, 2011. (Source)