Not Buying What They Voted For

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Writing in The Washington Times, Douglas Holtz-Eakin notes that Americans aged 18-40 are likely to vote against ObamaCare with their pocketbooks. Polling data suggest that the premium hikes that will kick in in 2014 are going to have a large negative effect on the program's incoming cash flow:

In this group of current insurance purchasers, only 83 percent will still purchase if premiums rise 10 percent; 65 percent, if premiums rise 20 percent; and only 55 percent, if premiums rise 30 percent. The economic lesson is simple: As premiums rise, eventually, some consumers reach a price point at which they simply stop buying health insurance.
Holtz-Eakin notes that despite this behavior, many of these people are "not anti-ObamaCare":
The poll shows a response to the health care law split more or less right down the middle: 29 percent viewing it favorably, 33 percent unfavorably, and 38 percent "half-and-half." Within the law, some features are viewed favorably (coverage for pre-existing conditions is a positive for 68 percent), while others are frowned on (55 percent have a negative view of the individual mandate and penalty.)
This reminds me quite a bit of the people who find that they can't afford to live in blue states, and so move to red states, and yet continue voting for the policies that caused them to have to move in the first place. While people ultimately will vote according to what they believe is right, it could help some to begin to question whether the are doing the right thing to be clear about terms. In this case, I wonder how people might have voted at the ballot box if they knew that ObamaCare is tantamount to outlawing (actual) health insurance? Or that, as Holtz-Eakin notes, they are serving as milch cows? Either lesson will require education: The uneven approval of parts of the plan suggest to me that many people do not understand how the "bad" is related to the "good". We are thus in danger of people taking home the wrong lesson: that ObamaCare was merely a badly-executed idea.

-- CAV


Steve D said...

The problem is; their ideology gets in the way of their education.

Gus Van Horn said...

True, so the question is: How might we best cause people to question that ideology? Helping people see that it conflicts with their self-interest can be useful in this way.