Government shutdown: Deciding What’s Best for Young Americans

By Tom TothGraduates in Cap and Gown

Young Americans seem to have been saddled with a raw deal.

If you’ve recently graduated from college or soon plan to, you may not even remember the political debate surrounding the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. Whether you do or not, few of us following the conversation of socialized healthcare in 2010 could have imagined the situation young adults are now stuck with here in 2013.

As many feel the dismal job market either with their personal careers or with friends and family out of work for months and/or years at a time, employment rates don’t seem to be improving despite any efforts out of the Administration. Positions with any upward mobility are sparse and competitive, especially at the entry-level where college graduates start their careers.

Record-high unemployment lingers with 15.6% of Americans under 25 facing joblessness at the onset of their working lives. If that doesn’t make one depressed enough, the Federal Reserve Bank of NY reported that as of last year over 44% of recent college graduates are underemployed (in other words, working jobs they would have qualified for before accumulating any student loan debt).

These rates are already taking their toll on former students now holding over $1 trillion in outstanding student loan debt. One in ten of these loans default within two years of leaving school.

What young Americans need are jobs to pay down their debt – and they need them now.

This week, over three years since Obamacare was signed into law, the Obamacare exchanges opened with the benevolent promise of affordable healthcare options for “everyone.” If the concept of free healthcare seems too good to be true, well, it is. The catch is simple – the young and healthy have to overpay in order to make it happen.

College students who have been living off of boxed noodles for years can testify better than most that when resources are tight, priorities shift. Until October 1st, there were a multitude of inexpensive healthcare insurance options available for the nation’s young, healthy adults. Under the new “Affordable Care Act” provisions, rates for even the least expensive insurance premiums are expected to almost double for young men and increase by 55-62% for women.

Uncle Sam is selling young Americans a deal that doesn’t work at all in their favor – why else would they need Lady Gaga and Magic Johnson to make the pitch to their target audience?

On top of these new rates, the employer mandate comes next year. This mandate will require all businesses to offer the new, more expensive insurance coverage to all employees working at least 30 hours.

What is the predictable, inevitable consequence of this mandate on the already shaky job market? There will be even fewer full-time jobs and entry-level opportunities. Even major labor unions (former proponents of Obamacare) see it as a ominous threat to the 40-hour work week.

Ironically, those hit hardest with these changes voted overwhelmingly for this administration twice. Rather than reap the benefits of their electoral decision, president Obama’s keynote domestic law treats young Americans as if they were political adversaries.

Some members of Congress listened to their constituents, acknowledged the impending disaster of Obamacare’s unintended consequences and acted to stop the law. Unfortunately, Democrats in the Senate have been unwilling to lift a finger to prevent these problems, and have opted instead to arbitrarily shut down the government to keep funding Obamacare.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pontificated after the shutdown began that those wanting to stop the impending healthcare train wreck, like the young Americans they’re trying to dupe, are “obsessed with this Obamacare thing.”

Well, they should be.

Tom Toth is the Social Media Director for Americans for Limited Government

  • jwatersphd

    all the better reason not to try to approach this as an “insurance” matter. We don’t need insurance, we need healthcare. Nor should it have to do with your job – why should it? Medicare for all – would have none of these problems. But running this all through the insurance companies was a Republican idea – remember? So they could continue to profit – remember? Guess what? It costs more. Get the insurance companies out of it. The alternative to nearly free insurance for young healthy people is – guess what? – pre-existing conditions, getting thrown off your insurance if you get sick, and all the crap we now have. Can’t have one without the other, except with Medicare for all.

  • mary ann smaby

    My daughter graduated last year and has just been blessed with an amazing job with all sorts of benefits and healthcare. She is “25″, so I went to take her off of my healthcare plan so she could go on the one her new job has and I was told she could not be removed from my healthcare plan until she turned “26″ even though she has full coverage at her new job. I was also told that if she got married before she turned “26″ I still could not remove her, the only way I can remove her from my insurance plan is to completely cancel my entire policy for my whole family and start a whole new policy without her.The insurance company suggested I did not do that because it could cause me quite a few problems. Ridiculous!!!!!!!!!!!! So I am now forced to keep her on my policy and pay insurance for her until “26″ even though she has full coverage with her new job. They told me it was against the law to remove her. I guess we are not in the Land of the Free anymore when I can’t even decide who is on my insurance policy and who is not. Obama said he would fundamentally change America and he is well on his way. I wish America would wake up before it is too late or did everyone drink the Kool-Aid?

  • HarryTheCat

    Your daughter was very, very lucky to have found a job, especially one with good benefits. Many of the jobs that new grads are finding come with paper hats and drive-through headsets. Far too many college degrees are being awarded in majors that have no commercial value, leaving new grads strapped with huge student loan balances to pay off on a minimum wage income.

  • HarryTheCat

    Wow!…I don’t seem to remember a whole lot of Republicans jumping onto the ObamaCare bandwagon back when it was rammed through a Congress run by liberal Democrats who either didn’t or couldn’t read it. Instead of Medicare for all, how about everybody get a freakin’ job, and PAY for their own healthcare?

  • Mark

    Here’s some logic. Medicare works for ME, so it will work for EVERYBODY!

  • jwatersphd

    Huge numbers of people have jobs and can’t possibly pay for their health care. The last year before I was told I was “uninsurable,” I paid $27,000 for my family of 3. Before I was denied coverage, the expected expense was $35,000. I do not have anything dramatically wrong with me – high cholesterol and the like. So getting “a freakin’ job” isn’t really the answer.

  • jwatersphd

    That’s poor logic.

  • Mark

    We agree. So maybe you should change your logic, since it’s yours.

  • jwatersphd

    No it isn’t.

  • Mark

    Seek help. You’re losing it.

  • HarryTheCat

    So you are incapable of taking care of yourself and your family, and your solution is for me to pick up the tab for you? Oh, and by the way, Medicare isn’t free either. Somebody has to work for the money that is taxed to pay for it.

  • jwatersphd

    Yes, I worked for that for 50 years and I’m still being taxed for it. Is your solution for me to die, because we have a dysfunctional system? You’re the epitome of the “I’ve got mine, get lost” Tea Party mentality. Thank god not everybody agrees it’s just cash on the barrelhead or you die. You’re incapable of “taking care” of a lot of the stuff that’s provided for you, you just don’t realize it. We’re in this together . . . oh, I guess except for you.

  • jwatersphd

    You’ve already lost it, Mark. You’re making things up. Bye for now.

  • Mark

    Yeah, reading what you say is nuts. I shouldn’t waste my time, but serfs like you need a dose of reality now and again. Maybe tomorrow you’ll feel like being a free man.

  • pduffy

    Mark, don’t respond to Mr. PHD. His rhetoric is ‘piled higher and deeper’. I think he got his degree in economics from OSU – Obama Socialists University.

  • pduffy

    Can’t pay for their ‘health care’? What health care? I am 50 years old and STILL do not need ‘health care’, and I DO NOT go to doctors because I take care of MY OWN BODY. I have a family of 5 and we pay cash, and have ONE income, and NO INSURANCE or MEDICARE. Young single Americans DO NOT NEED health care, they need FREEDOM and OPPORTUNITY. PLEASE stop commenting on this website!

  • pduffy

    You will die no matter what Obama spends to keep you alive. What’s your solution, bankrupt the nation to save your own skin? So what you got taxed, get over it, WE owe you NOTHING.

  • Mark

    I hear ya, duff. But if a lefty rolls in here spouting their non-sense I feel a responsibility to straighten them out. He’s a lost cause, but I can’t let him disrespect our house. Carry on, duff. You do good work.

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