Here’s Obamacare’s Appeal to America’s Bros
Most dictionary entries for “bro” merely note that it is the colloquial abbreviation of the term “brother,” which can be used to address a friend. However, Urban Dictionary takes the meaning a step further, defining a bro as an obnoxious partying male who is “often seen at college parties.” When bros “aren’t making [fools] of themselves they usually just stand around holding a red plastic cup waiting for something exciting to happen so they can scream something that demonstrates how much they enjoy partying.” It is harsh definition, but it certainly creates a mental picture of a young man in the prime of his life enjoying life’s simple pleasures. That is how those that developed the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate see young men, at least so far as they are young and healthy.
The primary aim of Obamacare is to make health insurance affordable enough that most Americans can afford a policy. The exchanges were designed to allow consumers to comparison-shop for health insurance policies in online marketplaces where their collective bargaining power will theoretically foster competition and drive down prices. To further expand coverage, insurers have been prohibited from excluding those with pre-existing conditions, which makes the penalty for those who do not purchase insurance necessary.
But, herein lies the problem with the individual mandate. If a large enough number of young people that are relatively healthy, and therefore cheap to insure, choose the penalty, the system will be in jeopardy because that means those that have enrolled for insurance policies are largely older, sicker, and more likely to rack up higher medical bills.