Like many young Americans, for the better part of my 20s and early 30s, I didn’t bother with health insurance. When I finally got it (as my father’s insistence), I wasn’t aware I could get catastrophic coverage, figuring I had to buy the HMO that Anthem (then-Blue Cross) told me was the best deal for me. Actually, it was the best deal for them, but unaware of all the choices out there, I went with that.
Of the many, many, many troubling things about Obamacare, the individual mandate (which Obama opposed during his campaign) may well be the most troubling. It tells individuals what kind of coverage they must have. A young person must be roped into a plan that may offer more coverage than he is willing to pay for, covering things, like my HMO did, that they don’t really need nor want–but the government says they need.
If, in 2001 when I got my health insurance, I was aware of all the choices out there, rather than dependent on the corporate representative to whom I was directed, I would have opted for something less expensive that covered only serious illness. I had the choice, but didn’t make myself aware of what was out there. Now, the Democrats are on the verge of denying young people that choice.