Today on Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough announced he had a confession to make. Turns out his 24-year old son is one of the millions of “adult children” who have decided to decline health insurance from their employer and instead get coverage through their parents’ employer health care plan. “I know this, he’s not getting money taken out of his checkbook,” Scarborough explained.
This admission pleased Joe’s liberal counterpart, Mika Brzezinski, to no end. “I wonder how many Republicans in Washington have children who are buying into the plan,” Mike beamed.
That answer is easy. None.
No “adult children” are “buying” into any of their parents’ health care plan. That is the whole point of the slacker mandate. It provides them with a free ride at everyone else’s expense.
As Scarborough noted, it is an easy decision from his son’s perspective: He gets to keep more of his paycheck and get free health care. And probably better care to boot. I’d be willing to bet that the plan Scarborough Jr. was offered by his employer is far less generous than the plan Joe gets from MSNBC.
But, of course, nothing is ever really free. Forbes‘ Avik Roy writes:
While what policy wags call the “slacker mandate” has expanded coverage, it does so by slightly increasing the cost of employer-sponsored insurance for everyone. There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Insurance analysts estimate that the mandate has increased premium costs for family plans by 1 to 3 percent. In 2010, the average family plan cost $13,871, which means the “slacker mandate” is effectively a tax of $139 to $416 for the average family. Remember that not all families have adult children, or need this type of coverage.
So to recap, Obamacare in no way helped Scarborough’s son gain access to health care. He already had access through his employer. It did, however, transfer wealth from middle class families everywhere (who now have to pay higher health insurance premiums) to Scarborough’s son who now has less money taken from his paycheck.