Crazy: Young Tea Party ‘Rebels’ Burn Fake ‘Obamacare Cards’
That’s right, insurance on the exchanges is subsidized, and therefore affordable to low-wage young people. That’s part of what the Obamacare navigators will explain over the next several months as they help the uninsured sign up for plans on the exchanges. The national exchange won’t be available until October. But California’s exchange prices are posted. There, a full-time worker earning the California minimum wage of $8 an hour would pay nothing for the cheapest plan.
Absolutely nothing. FreedomWorks is telling that worker to refuse free health insurance and pay a $95 fine because of, you know, “income redistribution.”
The next best health insurance plan on the California Exchange would cost all of $5 a month for a worker who earns less than $17,235 a year. That’s $35 a year less than the fine. A significantly better plan would cost that worker $63 a month -- $756 a year. That’s a lot of money for a minimum wage worker. But the exchanges give workers the freedom to choose plans that fit their needs and budgets.
Right now, 48.6 million Americans lack health insurance. The vast majority aren’t freely choosing that insecurity. It’s not that they don’t want the peace-of-mind of insurance. It’s that they can’t afford it. And their employers don’t offer it. Obamacare gives most of them help. For those who earn less than four times the Federal Poverty Level, which is two-thirds of the U.S. population, Obamacare offers subsidies toward the purchase of insurance on the exchanges.
FreedomWorks hopes to dissuade 3 million young people from using those subsidies to help buy themselves peace of mind. If FreedomWorks succeeds and Obamacare fails, 48.6 million Americans would remain without health insurance. FreedomWorks, Tea Partiers and Republicans are fine with that. They’ve rejected the GOP’s decades-old tenet that buying insurance is a personal responsibility, which the government can ensure is fulfilled through an individual mandate. Instead, FreedomWorks & Co. have adopted the philosophy of conservative economist Tyler Cowen who counseled: “We need to accept the principle that sometimes poor people will die just because they are poor.”
The freedom to lack health insurance ranks right up there with the freedom to lack food. It’s not a liberty anyone rational is burning to secure. America’s uninsured young people aren’t organizing Obamacare card conflagrations. They’re planning to navigate their way to the protection of Obamacare plans.