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Published on Feb 12, 2010
President Barack Obama has been promising for the past year that health care bills before Congress would help younger Americans -- often who are healthier and more resistant to buying insurance coverage -- access affordable health plans. But Heritage senior policy analyst Paul Winfree, who tracks health care economics, says those promises are too good to be true. Winfree points out in new research that both the House and Senate bills include changes to insurance ratings so that younger, healthier Americans would lose any potential discounts they would get compared with older, sicker consumers. This would drive up the cost of health insurance for everyone. Additionally, the bills have individual mandates, which would force young adults to pay a fine if they didnt want to buy health plans. Many younger Americans would pay the fine because it would end up being the cheaper option -- even when you add in government subsidies. This is one more tax on young adults who are struggling to pay for rent, food, gas and other living expenses. These are more reasons why Congress needs to start over with health measures that bring real portability to the health insurance market.