Jul 30, 2009

The Conservative Lie: "Young People Do Not Want Health Insurance"

There's a story going around right now, being circulated by conservative opponents of health care reform, that young people don't have health insurance because they don't want to have health insurance.

This story is naturally only being told by people in their middle or old age. Specifically Rudy Giuliani, Judd Gregg, and Rush Limbaugh all used it over the past week.

The last time any of these folks could be considered "young" South Africa had yet to free Nelson Mandela.

According to a June 2009 Gallup Poll about 1 in 6 Americans are without insurance. Of that group (16% of the overall population) more than a quarter are between the ages of 18 and 29 and another fifth are between the ages of 30-44.

Young people are more likely to support health care reform, too.

Evidently no one in the GOP ever talks to anyone under the age of 30. Senator Gregg thinks that young people just want to spend their money on other things. He also think most of us make over $75 K a year.

With such a misunderstanding of the economic realities of average Americans, thank goodness he didn't take the Commerce Secretary post.

Limbaugh used the old hasty generalization logical fallacy: one guy at a town hall meeting would prefer not to buy health insurance so he can use the money on other things, therefor 47 million people do not want to buy health insurance so they can buy other things.

And Rudy Giuliani thinks that young people are choosing not to buy health insurance because they are "too young" and would rather have things like televisions.

Hey Rudy, unlike a TV, you can't find health insurance on craigslist for fifty bucks.

Listen up, old conservatives who already have health insurance: young people who don't have health insurance aren't making a choice not to have it, they can't afford it!

Young people can't afford the outrageous cost of individual health insurance premiums, don't see the advantage of having it because of the huge deductibles (who's got 5 large just sitting around?), and many of the jobs that young people are able to get in this economy don't have employer-provided health coverage, especially if they don't have a union in their workplace.

1 in 3 twentysomethings (oh, and Gregg, "twentysomething" is another word for young people, "thirtysomething" was a soap that was popular in the '80's) doesn't have health insurance.

In other words, your "young people don't want health insurance" talking point is bunk.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Look, you are right to say that Conservatives are not being truthful by claiming that "young people" do not have health insurance b/c they would rather buy other things. However, it is also untrue to say that 'young people can't afford it' - many, I know plenty of them, can very well afford it and choose not to buy it - b/c yes, they'd rather use the extra-income on a bigger apartment and booze on weekends. Many young Obama supporters in their 20s will become very unhappy when they can't go out to the bars and clubs and buy as many nice things anymore once they are mandated to purchase coverage. Of course, not being able to get liquored up is hardly a reason to reject a Health Care bill -- but a lot of the young may be in for a dissapointment.