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Get ’em while they’re young



The Rod of Asclepius, symbol for doctors, came from the Greeks. But the Silk Road exhibit would suggest modern medicine really began with Muslims. In more modern times, the Star of Life is the symbol of health. But does sickness pay more than health?

Anti-war activists have a legend. In it, a ranking general said something about new recruits, something those activists find frightening. He said, “You gotta get ’em while they’re young.” Meaning the best recruits are young recruits. They don’t know the horrors of war. So they will not recoil from it. How ironic that the Obama administration and its apologists now must do the same thing: “get ’em while they’re young.”

The young: missing piece of Obamacare

The inventors of Obamacare have a problem. They wanted to forbid any insurer to disallow a policy to one already sick. They wanted to sign up many elderly people. Some of those people are frail. Any health-care services for them will cost money. A lot of it.

So they need young and healthy people in their “risk pool.” Those young people, if they sign up, will pay much more in premiums than they might ever pay in fees for services.

Obamacare wants the young and offers them a bad deal. They need not take it.

The Star of Life, featuring the Rod of Asclepius, the true symbol of medicine. Photo: US Department of Transportation

Without them, Obamacare will die. Insurance actuaries have two phrases for that. Some call it “adverse selection.” Meaning: when those you want most to sign up, turn away from you, you can’t go on. Others call it “death spiral.” They describe it this way: if the young don’t sign up, insurers must raise premiums for everyone. Even fewer healthy people will sign up, and premiums will keep rising. Until no one can afford it.

The activists know this. Some, like Ryan Cooper of The Washington Post, try to deny it. But James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal knows they can’t deny it. He said it again today. He quoted one Mark Crain of, in a fund-raising message:

The only way we can afford to cover all the people with pre-existing conditions is if younger, healthier people enroll as well. If only sick people sign up, our entire health insurance system falls apart.

Any actuary could have told him that. If the only people who get insurance are the bad insurance risks, the insurance model fails. Imagine a bookmaker booking bets at the track. Suppose everyone bets on one particular horse to win. Now let that horse win. Now what?


How they try to pull in the young

The Ryan Coopers try a curious moral suasion. Singer Erin MacDonald encourages young people to “forget about the price tag.”

Don’t need a lot of money, money, money,

To stay young and healthy, healthy, healthy,

We just want to make it more fair

With Affordable Health Care

Those lyrics are the closest Miss MacDonald comes to being honest. Don’t worry about the extra money you must pay. We have to make it fair for others. And what’s fair for you?


She also tries to say the young are not “invincible.” Never mind that, under the law, when they do get sick, they can sign up then, for the same price!

Why should any young person sign up? What’s in it for them? Nothing. So Barack Obama and his apologists try to make them feel guilty for being healthy.

Jonah Goldberg thinks some young people might sign up because they don’t know what a bad deal they’re getting. If they’ve never bought health insurance before, they have no baseline. So they “don’t know they’re getting the shaft.” Thus, the de facto President

exploits the comparative ignorance and inexperience of his biggest supporters.

Don’t let them fool you

A deductible is whatever price you must pay before an insurance benefit even starts. A co-payment or co-pay is that part of the bill you still have to pay, no matter what. And the deductibles and co-payments for Obamacare are out of sight. The average young person will never satisfy the deductible. And the co-pay is so high, he might as well get no benefit at all. In short: a young person is better off paying the tax and saving the premium amount against the chance he does get sick. (And about that tax: the IRS can’t even collect it unless you are due a refund. If you plan your taxes to the penny, the IRS can’t touch you.)

Nor do you have to get sick. Joseph R. Mercola, D.O., among others, has long exposed the dirty secret of standard Western medicine. That is: you are worth more sick than well to the medical profession. Or you were.


Accidents? Automobile and accident insurance is still available. And even without it, Obamacare still has the basic problem: no penalty for waiting until you need it, to get it.

Obamacare will destroy the insurance industry. That’s probably want Obama meant to do. (Didn’t Senator Harry Reid, D-Nev., say it?) But young people don’t have to fall for this. They can take responsibility for, and command of, their own lives. Then they can be truly invincible. ARVE Error: need id and provider


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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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