The administration announced last week that only 1.08 million people ages 18 to 34 had signed up for Obamacare by the end of February, or about 25 percent of total enrollees. If the proportion doesn’t improve significantly, the result likely will be fatal for the Affordable Care Act.
Did he really write “fatal”?
How did this happen?
Dana Milbank doesn’t want to face up to what has happened, so he spins some diversionary explanations.
What went wrong? The president and his aides failed to keep his youth movement engaged. But part of the problem also is the inability of the millennial generation to remain attached to a cause. The generation that brought Obama to power is connected online but has no loyalty to institutions — including, it turns out, the Obama White House.
But that is irrelevant. Obamacare wasn’t sold as a cause; it was sold as a free gift to people. They would now get better health care. Except that was a lie. It is much more expensive and lower in quality. And it is especially overpriced for millennials. They are being asked (or rather, ordered) to pay for an inferior product not only for themselves but also to subsidize the health care of their elders. Why should support for Obama over Romney translate into a personal willingness to lose thousands of dollars every year so other people get subsidies in their health insurance?
There is no need to explain why the millennials are refusing to sign up for their own exploitation. What we need to explain is why any of them signed up at all.
The millennials, very liberal overall, saw Obama’s plan as too timid; they were disillusioned by his failure to fight for the “public option” of government-run health plans.
Right. They wanted Obama to wave his wand and make a doctor-slave appear at their side to give them free care. They didn’t want to pay for anything. Milbank tries to make the millennials look tough and heroic by using the word “timid” and stressing ideology. That’s a whitewash. They may talk differently than conservatives but they are just as committed to not being robbed. And Obamacare was premised on the willingness of millennials to be robbed more than everyone else. It was a stupid plan.
And here is the basic contradiction of Liberal welfarism. On the one hand, the virtue of paying your own way, and letting others keep their own money to spend or save or give away according to their own free will, is flatly denied. You shouldn’t want everyone to keep their money; you should want free money from the government. But if it is right for me to demand the government make my life easier, how can I, at the same time, be completely fine with a government that makes my life harder? How can I feel free to demand the government give me money and not care if the government is taking more of my money? Milbank commends the millennials for wanting free health care from the government but condemns them for refusing to be drained of income to supply other people with free health care.
It makes no sense. People who are encouraged to be selfish babies who demand free stuff are not going to want their stuff taken away and given to others.