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March 28, 2014

In Our Opinion: Young adults should opt for Obamacare

The Daily Star

---- — Hey there, young adult, how are you feeling?

Pretty good? Glad to hear it.

By the way, do you have health care coverage?

No? Why not?

You don’t need it? Really? Why not?

Oh, because you’re not going to get sick, and nothing bad is going to happen to you.

How do you know that?

Oh … you just know.

But how can you be sure that you won’t catch some sort of nasty virus that requires thousands of dollars worth of medical tests?

You just won’t? That’s an answer?

We’re sorry, did you say something while you were shrugging? No? You were just grunting? Well, OK, what about if you get into a traffic accident and have to spend weeks in a hospital?

What’s that? You’re not going to get into an accident? How do you know that?

You just know, that’s all?

Hey, we’ve been watching you playing pickup basketball and throwing a Frisbee around the park. What will you do if you tear your anterior cruciate ligament? Who’s going to pay for that operation you’re going to need to walk normally again? Do you have a plan?

No, limping for the rest of your life doesn’t sound like a very good plan at all.

Well, did you know that you’re risking bankruptcy if you go without insurance? Did you know the burden you will be putting on taxpayers if they —instead of an insurance company — have to foot the enormous bills you might be running up?

You don’t care? That’s kind of callous, isn’t it?

Another shrug, huh?

Well, did you know that the deadline for signing up for Obamacare enrollment is Monday, and those who don’t have any kind of health insurance will have to pay a penalty?

Maybe? What kind of answer is that? Well, never mind. Did you know that the Department of Health and Human Services — which administers the Affordable Care Act — announced on Tuesday that it will extend the deadline for people who try to apply through the federal marketplace but encounter problems?

Yes, that’s right, the Affordable Care Act is Obamacare. Did you know that most people your age who don’t have a lot of money are eligible for health care subsidies?

What’s that? You accidentally stumbled across a news website, and people — you think most of them are Republicans — are saying bad things about Obamacare? Well, sure, it can be improved; even the president has said that. But it’s the law of the land and it’s not going away any time soon. Besides, it’s offering you inexpensive, subsidized health care.

You’ll think about signing up?

Well, good for you.