A Word of Caution for Today's Youth

November 11, 2013

Weak economies always hit younger people hard, but this weak recovery is taking a particularly heavy toll, despite the massive government intervention in the form of stimulus and job programs, says Veronique de Rugy, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

Take the president's health care law.

  • Because ObamaCare requires employers with more than 50 workers to provide health insurance to all employees or pay a $2,000 penalty per worker, the law will likely increase the cost of current and future employees (those working at least 30 hours per week).
  • There is increasing evidence that the new rules are leading employers to hire more part-time workers and/or to cap their workers' time at 30 hours, especially in the retail and fast-food industries.

Health insurance premiums are also going up, thanks to ObamaCare's requirements that health insurers accept everyone who applies, that they never charge more based on preexisting medical conditions, and that they start paying for many medical conditions that previously went uncovered.

  • A 2013 study by Society of Actuaries fellows Kurt Giesa and Chris Carlson in the latest issue of Contingencies, the American Academy of Actuaries' bimonthly magazine, shows that 80 percent of Americans in their 20s will face higher costs under the law.
  • That fact is rather ironic. About two-thirds of the uninsured population is under the age of 40, so this law could end up hurting the very uninsured Americans it was supposed to help.

It is today's youth who will take the brunt of punishment from Washington's decades of "helping" previous generations of Americans. It is today's youth who will most likely see their own federal benefits cut dramatically, their taxes increased, or some combination of the two. And it is today's youth who will find it harder to get a good job, buy a home, support a family, or do many of the things that were long considered a near-certainty for college graduates.

Source: Veronique de Rugy, "The Kids Aren't All Right," Reason Magazine, November 2013.

 

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