Kids Are Dumb

tearsHere's today's ObamaCare Rah-Rah story from USA Today:

Three years ago, Carey's father passed away from a chronic blood disorder after being laid off and losing his health insurance, rendering him temporarily unable to afford chemotherapy treatments. With her mother unemployed and uninsured, the Emory University junior was required by her school to get insured, but opted out of Emory's Student Aetna plan because it didn't offer reasonable coverage.

"The insurance that I have now actually is fine — it has great coverage with low co-pays, but the premium costs too much of my monthly income," says Carey, 20. "When I had the Aetna plan as a freshman and sophomore, the amounts I paid out of pocket were ridiculous. I had to have a minor surgery that cost roughly $4,000, and I had to pay $2,500 — doesn't exactly sound like good coverage for a college student."

Actually, Carey had great coverage. It was exactly the kind of inexpensive, catastrophic plan kids should have, if they can even be bothered to get insurance.

Here's how insurance works. You're betting that you'll need more health care than the insurance company thinks you will, and the insurance company is betting that you'll need less health care than you think you will. The insurance company has all kinds of actuarial tables to help them figure out how much you're likely to need, then charges what they think will earn them a profit.

You can get the insurance company to agree to lower upfront costs, if you agree to pay higher backend costs like copays and deductibles.

Young Carey bet she'd stay pretty healthy. That's a good bet for a 20-year-old. For example, my only medical expenses at that age were booze and aspirin and in that order. I was also making $4.50 an hour, so after all the booze and aspirin there wasn't anything leftover to pay for luxuries like health insurance. If I'd have been hit by the same thing Carey had been, I'd have been out the full $4,000.

But you know what? $4,000 wouldn't have ruined me, even when it was damn near half my annual take-home pay. It wouldn't have ruined Carey, either.

She bought the smart policy, but she lost the bet. Life happens. Then life goes on -- even if you are $4,000 in the hole for the privilege.

Judging by what we know of the coverage Carey did choose to buy, she'd have bought the ObamaCare catastrophic plan three years ago, had it been available then. Under its terms, she'd have been left paying $1,600 instead of $2,500.

Go back and re-reread those numbers.

All this fuss, all this griping, all this hand-wringing over saving a college girl $900. She could have saved that much in two or three semesters, just buying used books instead of new ones.

In other words, the Democrats ruined full-time employment, put the squeeze on small business, hammered the GDP, and put Big Pharma and Big Business to jump into bed with Washington so they could do stuff you can't even find in the Kama Sutra -- just to save Carey $900 on an unlikely surgery.

And to make her a lifelong Democrat, of course.

I'm not sure I've ever been so angry.