Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Arizona university students are moving back into their dorms on campus this week. Classes begin Thursday, August 22 at ASU, Monday, August 26 at the U of A, and Wednesday, August 28 at NAU. This would be a good time for the Young Democrats of America (YDA) university chapters to ramp up their involvement in the new initiatives to encourage youth enrollment in the Affordable Care Act (aka "ObamaCare") being announced today. White House Unveils Latest Attempt To Get People To Enroll In Obamacare:
The latest initiatves are set to be unveiled on Monday, when the Department of Health and Human Services will debut a video contest -- complete with cash prizes -- designed to persuade younger consumers to get insurance.
The administration will partner with Young Invincibles, a non-profit youth issues organization, to run the contest, with the goal of reaching those younger Americans who are skeptical of the need for health coverage.
Participants will be encouraged to submit three different types of videos advertising the benefits of the exchanges: a song, an animated short, or a video designed to convince viewers that they aren't invincible. Using funds from the Affordable Care Act's education and outreach budget, HHS will award $3,000 each to the creators of the three most popular and persuasive videos, while second and third place winners will get $2,500 each.
“Educating young people about new coverage options requires an all-hands-on-deck approach," Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will say Monday during a speech at a Young Invincibles conference in Houston, according to advanced remarks provided to The Huffington Post. "For millions of young people, health insurance hasn’t been an option because it’s always been out of reach—because it costs too much, or isn’t offered through a job."
The contest is designed to dispel the notion that even young and healthy individuals would be better off simply not purchasing health insurance. It may seem like an odd choice of battlegrounds. But attracting the young demographic is key to the effectiveness of the exchanges, providing insurers with the type of low-risk customers that will help lower premiums across the board. It's no coincidence that many conservative opponents of the Affordable Care Act are actively urging young people to skip the exchanges altogether, even though doing so would mean incurring the tax penalty for not having insurance coverage.
The agency's PR budget for the health care law is $75 million (though the $30,000 being spent by the video project comes from a different pool of funds). That may seem like a lot, but HHS will likely be outspent by opponents of the health care law.
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People who wish to enter the video submission contest must do so by Sept. 23. On Oct. 1, the day the exchanges go online, the videos will debut on a website created by Young Invincibles and the public will be allowed to vote on them. The winners will be announced on Oct. 21.
For those of you who believe that you are invincible because you are young, think again, you are just lucky. I have spent far too much time visiting hospitals and attending the funerals of children far younger than you. We are all just one accident, one illness away from financial destitution without health insurance. This is what being a responsible adult is all about.
UPDATE: See Ezra Klein, Why Obamacare is good for young people:
In fact, young people are likely to be the biggest beneficiaries of the subsidies because they’re more likely than any other age group to be poor and uninsured.
“The tax credit premium subsidies are disproportionately going to be helpful for the young adult population,” says Ron Pollack, head of Families USA. “They’ll get the largest tax credit subsidies of any age group.”
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The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that, among people currently buying nongroup insurance, the average subsidy will be $2,672. For poorer, often younger people, that check will be much larger. So while the young and the healthy might be subsidizing the old and the sick, they’re receiving an even bigger subsidy themselves from the federal government.
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Of course, car accidents are rare, so that might be a risk worth taking. Yet even the small group of people who are young, healthy or too rich to qualify for subsidies and don’t have employer-provided insurance have a compelling reason to purchase insurance: They will not be young and healthy — or even necessarily rich — forever. Young people grow old. Healthy people get sick. Rich people become poor. The people overpaying to keep costs low today are the people underpaying 10 or 20 years from now. It’s a terrible mistake to think of yourself as having a fixed relationship to the health-care system. Health needs, income, and demographic profile all change over time — and they can change unexpectedly.
Those young, healthy rich people will need a functional system in the future when they become older, sicker or poorer. So even for those least in need, health-insurance premiums are an investment — not in someone else’s future, but in their own. Only a cramped and narrow view of self-interest assumes that the status quo lasts forever.
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So that’s the breakdown: For most people — including young people — Obamacare doesn’t much matter one way or the other. For a lot of young people, it’s a great deal because they get large subsidies, or because they’re already sick and locked out of the system. But for the remainder, it’s worth remembering that being young, healthy, and rich now doesn’t mean you won’t be old, sick, and poorer later — and if and when that time comes, you’ll need a health-care system willing to accept you.