Central to the success of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, are 20- to 30-year-olds buying government-approved health insurance policies. The administration, its friends and allies are running a full-court public-relations press touting the advantages of health insurance to these young folks.
Advertising may facilitate some to sign up, but economists generally believe that incentives are more important. How, then, does the healthcare law change economic incentives to buy health insurance to the young and uninsured?
Consider the health insurance market before the law is in place. Charlie is a 27-year-old single male who freelances in Anytown, Ind. He earns $45,000 a year and does not currently buy health insurance. Economists surmise his choice not to buy is the by-product of a cost-benefit calculation.
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