Millennials Should Exempt Themselves and Opt Out of Obamacare

At Generation Opportunity, we're flattered that PolicyMic writer Stephen Calabria was so taken with our Opt Out of Obamacare campaign, that he decided to showcase our work on Capitol Hill. According to a piece published at this website by the aforementioned author, he asked 41 House members if they had seen our pair of ads (which garnered over 3 million views combined on YouTube in a little over two weeks). The conclusion Calabria draws is that because 24 Republican politicians either hadn't seen our ads or had no particular opinion on them, that our campaign has been ineffective. What Mr. Calabria seemingly fails to recognize is that the last thing we're seeking is approval from elected officials. After all, politicians don't need to opt out of Obamacare – they already get special subsidies, and so do their staffers.

But the rest of us – particularly Millennials, who are hardest hit by Obamacare, have been offered no such exemptions. We have to take it upon ourselves to opt out of the program and find better coverage options, precisely what Generation Opportunity’s campaign is promoting. In fact, we’ve already received nearly 200 requests for our free Opt Out Kit from young people across the nation, with new applications rolling in daily. These people are students eager to educate their peers about their options in the wake of Obamacare’s attempt to siphon off more of our meager resources to further subsidize older, richer Americans. Generation Opportunity has also been on the ground at college campuses throughout the country, and we’re proudly partnering with grassroots activists who understand that one-size-fits-all “fixes” sent down from Capitol Hill aren’t doing young people any favors.

We aren’t particularly interested in what politicians think about our campaign, but we’d actually like to thank Mr. Calabria for coaxing Congressman John Conyers (D-Mich.) into making Generation Opportunity’s point for us. In response to an inquiry about our Opt Out project, the congressman stated, "That's the worst thing that I've heard of in this thing. I don't think it's sensible. I hope young people reject that notion, because we need young people in the health plan to help balance out all the seniors that use health [insurance], as we all know, more than other people."

We appreciate that instructive moment of clarity, because Conyers, who voted for Obamacare, fully admits what most of his colleagues won’t: that Obamacare isn’t designed to provide affordable health care to the young and uninsured. The law is actually crafted to treat a generation with diminished economic prospects like cash cows when we’re at our financially leanest. The worst part is, it won’t even pay off for us in the long run, because unlike true insurance, it doesn’t calculate for our risk — and certainly won’t reward us if we’ve made smart health decisions that should reduce our costs.

If you support Obamacare because you think it’s wonderful for a massive federal bureaucracy to transfer resources from the young and poor to the older and richer, you’re well within your rights to advocate for that. But notice how that’s never the argument made by supporters of the ill-conceived law. That’s because such a level of honesty isn’t conducive to their goal of making young people think that signing up for Obamacare is the only way they’ll have access to health care. There is absolutely no reason for young people to enter the expensive Obamacare exchanges when cheaper, better options continue to exist outside the program.

As things stand now, you can easily compare what's available at healthcare.gov to everything on the open market at ehealthinsurance.com. Your options will vary state-to-state, but there's no reason to think the only way to access health care is to sign up for an expensive plan on the government's dysfunctional website. You can also explore self-pay options and consider paying the tax for not having government-compliant insurance if that's what you prefer. The point is that the decision is yours.

Ultimately, having a conversation about choice speaks to why Generation Opportunity’s Opt Out of Obamacare campaign exists in the first place. We believe it’s crucial for young people to hear all sides of the story as it pertains to this law that’s placing so many new burdens on our generation. Millennials are already suffering under crushing student loan debt, a lack of full-time work (which is also related to Obamacare’s employer mandate), and overall negative economic prospects. Isn’t it time we stood up for our generation and made informed decisions? After all, with Obamacare, the average 27-year-old, regardless of gender, is expected to pay double (if not triple) the cost of plans that they’ve always had access to on the individual market.

With Obamacare producing numbers like that, it would be smart to at least consider opting out and purchasing a plan outside the expensive exchanges — regardless of whether or not politicians approve.