10.07.2013 2

Government shutdown: Deciding What’s Best for Young Americans

By Tom TothGraduates in Cap and Gown

Young Americans seem to have been saddled with a raw deal.

If you’ve recently graduated from college or soon plan to, you may not even remember the political debate surrounding the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. Whether you do or not, few of us following the conversation of socialized healthcare in 2010 could have imagined the situation young adults are now stuck with here in 2013.

As many feel the dismal job market either with their personal careers or with friends and family out of work for months and/or years at a time, employment rates don’t seem to be improving despite any efforts out of the Administration. Positions with any upward mobility are sparse and competitive, especially at the entry-level where college graduates start their careers.

Record-high unemployment lingers with 15.6% of Americans under 25 facing joblessness at the onset of their working lives. If that doesn’t make one depressed enough, the Federal Reserve Bank of NY reported that as of last year over 44% of recent college graduates are underemployed (in other words, working jobs they would have qualified for before accumulating any student loan debt).

These rates are already taking their toll on former students now holding over $1 trillion in outstanding student loan debt. One in ten of these loans default within two years of leaving school.

What young Americans need are jobs to pay down their debt – and they need them now.

This week, over three years since Obamacare was signed into law, the Obamacare exchanges opened with the benevolent promise of affordable healthcare options for “everyone.” If the concept of free healthcare seems too good to be true, well, it is. The catch is simple – the young and healthy have to overpay in order to make it happen.

College students who have been living off of boxed noodles for years can testify better than most that when resources are tight, priorities shift. Until October 1st, there were a multitude of inexpensive healthcare insurance options available for the nation’s young, healthy adults. Under the new “Affordable Care Act” provisions, rates for even the least expensive insurance premiums are expected to almost double for young men and increase by 55-62% for women.

Uncle Sam is selling young Americans a deal that doesn’t work at all in their favor – why else would they need Lady Gaga and Magic Johnson to make the pitch to their target audience?

On top of these new rates, the employer mandate comes next year. This mandate will require all businesses to offer the new, more expensive insurance coverage to all employees working at least 30 hours.

What is the predictable, inevitable consequence of this mandate on the already shaky job market? There will be even fewer full-time jobs and entry-level opportunities. Even major labor unions (former proponents of Obamacare) see it as a ominous threat to the 40-hour work week.

Ironically, those hit hardest with these changes voted overwhelmingly for this administration twice. Rather than reap the benefits of their electoral decision, president Obama’s keynote domestic law treats young Americans as if they were political adversaries.

Some members of Congress listened to their constituents, acknowledged the impending disaster of Obamacare’s unintended consequences and acted to stop the law. Unfortunately, Democrats in the Senate have been unwilling to lift a finger to prevent these problems, and have opted instead to arbitrarily shut down the government to keep funding Obamacare.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pontificated after the shutdown began that those wanting to stop the impending healthcare train wreck, like the young Americans they’re trying to dupe, are “obsessed with this Obamacare thing.”

Well, they should be.

Tom Toth is the Social Media Director for Americans for Limited Government

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