Mommas, don’t let your babies grow up without health insurance
by Kevin Foley
March 28, 2014 12:38 AM | 1918 views | 11 11 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Most young adults enjoy a euphoric sense of invincibility, as I was reminded while riding the chairlift in Big Sky, Mont., a couple of weeks ago.

Looming above me were the steep gray flanks of 11,000-foot Lone Peak, vertical gorges plunging from its summit, bracketed by jagged granite outcroppings, challenged only by the best skiers and snowboarders.

Except many of those skiing or boarding these narrow alleys aren’t the best. They’re in their late 20s or early 30s and think they’re bulletproof, good enough to tackle this merciless terrain.

Fortunately, the ski patrol hangs around the bottom of the Headwaters, where the chutes terminate, ready to pack up the next humbled buckaroo and sled him or her down to the emergency clinic.

This got me to thinking how important it is for young people to sign up for health insurance before the March 31 deadline, after which they’ll be subject to a penalty under the Affordable Care Act.

Like so many sports beloved by young adults, skiing and snowboarding are inherently dangerous. So is mountain biking, scuba diving, motocross, or weight lifting, as 28-year-old CrossFit athlete Kevin Ogar learned in January when he was paralyzed from the waist down after a freak accident.

Ogar, who will never walk again, had no health insurance. He has endured two surgeries, his medical bills topping $330,000. Thankfully, the close-knit CrossFit community raised more than that amount to cover his care.

But what about the skateboarder who bartends nights? What happens when he sustains a compound arm fracture requiring multiple orthopedic surgeries? Or the young man who crashes his Kawasaki “crotch rocket” and ends up at the Shepherd Spinal Center?

It happens every day, and if they lack health insurance, nobody is going to raise the money to pay for their hospitalization unless their families do.

Catastrophic injuries or illnesses often result in catastrophic medical costs with many families forced to sell their homes to meet them. Bankruptcies are common. And we haven’t even begun talking about long-term care.

Let’s be clear: Obamacare is here to stay.

Only desperate tea party panderers like Reps. Paul Broun and Jack Kingston are going to tell parents they can no longer keep their kids on their health insurance plans through age 26, or that pre-existing conditions won’t be covered as mandated by the Affordable Care Act.

No politician who wants to get elected will demand health insurance companies return to the lifetime coverage limits they enjoyed before Obamacare.

For young adults — or perhaps moms and dads who might influence them — health insurance is a no-brainer. Why run the risk, especially if you’re active? And, of course, diseases like cancer or lupus can strike anyone anytime.

A 27-year-old living in Marietta and earning $25,000 annually can choose a Bronze Plan at Healthcare.gov starting at $105 per month. He may also qualify for a $60 per month tax credit, bringing the premium down to $45 per month, or $1.50 per day, less than the price of a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

All plans under Obamacare include free preventative services such as immunization shots and cancer screenings.

These costs might be lower if there was a state health insurance exchange like those in Kentucky, New York and California. However, Gov. Nathan Deal and Republicans in the state legislature want the Affordable Care Act to fail, not because it’s bad policy but because it was enacted by Democrats.

Georgians should keep GOP intransigence in mind when they vote in November.

Meantime, Fox News’ resident genius Eric Bolling told viewers it’s better for young people to pay the penalty than purchase health insurance, great advice until that 27-year-old falls while rock climbing in north Georgia and fractures his vertebrae.

Kevin Foley is an author, writer and public relations executive who lives in Kennesaw.
Comments
(11)
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ConsultantX
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March 28, 2014
Foley, don't you feel guilty spending your money on a ski trip to Montana? You could have shared that money with some of Georgia's 650,000 poor people. What you paid for that trip could have fed several families for weeks. You could have clothed and fed no telling how many poor children. You could have helped pay some poor families utility bills and kept on their lights, heat and water. Yes, with the money you spent on a ski trip to Montana you could have helped many poor people. But I guess it's really not fair of me to suggest that you give up some of your leisure time to help some of our State's poor because everyone needs some R&R and I'm sure you're tired from berating us selfish and insensitive conservatives for not being concerned over Georgia's 650,000 poor.

ConsultantX
Robert Meredith
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March 29, 2014
Well said Kevin Foley. You might add premature births to the list of hazards faced by invincible youths. They are referred to in hospitals as million dollar babies. This can't even be compared with giving birth to a child that might need constant medical attention for the rest of it's life. Like compulsory vaccinations, seat belts and mandatory automobile insurance, universal health insurance protects all of us.
Kevin Foley
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March 31, 2014
Mr. Meredith - Thank you. If you read some of the negative comments, you'll understand that many readers don't understand how health insurance works much less the vast improvements Obamacare has made in the healthcare industry.

Unfortunately, the unhinged hysterics in the right wing media and from pols like Rep. Paul Broun ("Obamacare will destroy everything in America," he told me) have successfully muddied the waters, creating confusion and fear as reflected in the comments.
Ben Twomey
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March 31, 2014
Wow, foley. Jump right on the Joe Biden bandwagon.

"All the problems with Obamacare care are because people are ignorant. They don't know hwo to use a computer and the don't understand health insurance."

Talk about Frick and Frack. You and Joe make a pair.
CobbCoGuy
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March 28, 2014
Sounds real good.

Can someone help me reconcile this with today's Real Clear Politics average "Public Approval of Health Care Law?" The spread today is 13.5 Oppose. The range is from 9 to 18.
anonymous
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March 28, 2014
The same people who opposed Social Security and Medicare are now going nuts over the Affordable Care Act. Ronald Reagan called Medicare socialized medicine and said "we are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was like in America when we were free". They were wrong then and They are wrong now. It's about time America joined the rest of the industrialized nations in providing affordable health care for it's citizens. Thanks Presidents Roosevelt, LBJ and Obama.
Carl Wilson
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March 28, 2014
Come on, Kevin, please spell out how much out of pocket and deductibles are required in the bronze plan. You and the others that throw this out make it sound like all you have to do is pay $45-$105 monthly premium and you're done! All medical work is covered!Yes, you can get a physical, but what if you have a cold, break an arm, get cancer? You avoid the negative aspects of everything associated with our President in hopes of tricking the people that do not want to learn for themselves.
Kevin Foley
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March 29, 2014
Mr. Wilson - You ask a good question. I explained above how Kevin Ogar ran up $330,000 in medical bills, money he didn't have. He was lucky.

Whatever the deductible is on the Bronze plans, it is far lower than what Ogar or his parents might have had to pay had his friends not raised money to help him.

Likewise, if you get cancer. If the total deductible and OOP is $10,000, that's a bargain next to the total cost of chemo, radiation and other therapies.
Ben Twomey
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March 28, 2014
Yep, according to the Prez, it is so very affordable...... as soon as you give up your cable and your IPhone, and somebody else pays half your premium for you. Oh, and they are predicting the rates are going up more than just a little next year, so be prepared to give up one meal a day.

Meantime, hope you don't need medical care or you might find that whatever you have is not covered, or that there has been an error and you are not covered for anything, or that the closest hospital to you that is "your plan" is in the next county. But..hey, nothng is perfect. Juts be gklad and rejoice that all the college kids are free to engage in orgies because you are helping pay for their birth control pills. And the insuracne companies are getting rich on their "estimated" excess costs, while millions are losing the insurance policies they were told "If you like your current policy, you can keep that." by that same Peez who jts tiold you to cancel Comast and get rid of our IPhone.

Yessiree, we really solved the health care problems didn't we?
East Cobb Senior
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March 28, 2014
@Kevin Foley, More Liberal Dribble from Cobb County's leftist columnist. Neither Broun nor Kingston is advocating removing 26yo's from their parents insurance or eliminating insurability for those with pre-existing conditions. Just more lies and liberal spin from the Obama apologist acolyte. What is telling in your fallacious column is the absence of any mention of the six very vulnerable U.S. Senators who sold their souls to the Liar in Chief and voted for Obamacare and are now running from it like scared roaches in the face of a can of Raid. They claim now they want to "FIX IT" and as is so typical of liberal liars, offer no details as to what that means. We only need to remember the hollow rhetoric of "HOPE AND CHANGE" to understand what's going on with that tactic.

In case you need a lesson in child psychology, since the beginning of time young people have always thought themselves to be invincible and will live forever. So what else is new, Obamacare will do nothing to change that regardless of how many punitive measures the corrupt Obama administration tries to imposed or ILLEGAL alterations they make to the legislation. And the last thing a 27yo earning $25,000 per year is looking for, or even understands, is a so-called "tax credit" since they don't itemize their tax returns.

What Georgians really need to keep in mind in November is the unprecedented political, social and economic havoc that the Democrats, Liberals and Obama have reeked upon this nation.

idiot watch
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March 28, 2014
wow. Foley goes skiiing !
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