Five health care secrets Millennials need to know

Katie Kiefferbl  ·  Sep 01, 2015

Millennials are members of a powerful generation that is 95 million strong in the United States. We are the children of the Baby Boomers and the grandchildren of the Greatest Generation. We range in age from teenagers about to get our driver’s permits—to young professionals in our thirties.

Because of our age—we are healthy. Our largest health expenses are due to catastrophe (i.e., a tragic accident or premature onset of a rare disease)—or maternity. Today, we are by and large fit and agile. Someday, we will need more regular health care. So, let’s find effective ways to meet our current needs while securing enough financial resources and personal freedoms to survive the long winter ahead. Here are five.

First Secret: Women and Children Last

Unless overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Health and Human Services mandate requires that faith-focused employers like the University of Notre Dame—which is currently suing the federal government to protect the free speech rights of a large, interdenominational community of believers—must financially subsidize health care plans that cover abortion and sterilization in addition to contraception.

In Washington, many politicians on both sides of the aisle like to present themselves as chivalrous gentlemen looking out for the interests of women, but they behave like members of a “Good Old Boys Club.”

A chivalrous man is one who, finding himself on a sinking ship, helps all the women and children board the lifeboats first. A chauvinist man is one who gets a girl pregnant and then kindly offers to pay for an abortion—with his father’s money.

A chivalrous politician is one who at least asks his female constituent for input before making major financial decisions—with her money—that impact her reproductive system. A chauvinist politician will pass health care legislation without input from female patients or their doctors.

If they balk, he’ll say: OK, I’ll grant you an exemption. You can go without insurance—by either paying a handsome fine or by going to prison. His “exemption” is no exemption. Her “choice” is no choice. She wants excellent, ethical, and affordable health insurance that she chooses without threat of fine or imprisonment. He offers her the opposite.

Millennial women need to know that the HHS mandate ignores the First Amendment protecting religious freedom and the Tenth Amendment, stating that powers not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution should be left to the states. Women are being compelled to cede their—and their children’s—health care decisions to politicians with vested monetary interests in appeasing the drug and insurance lobbies or buying votes from young swing voters.

Second Secret: Socialized Medicine Hurts Young Entrepreneurs

Seventy percent of Millennials aspire to become entrepreneurs according to a recent Deloitte study. I’m a young entrepreneur. So are many of my friends. The health insurance plans that we are eligible for under the Affordable Care Act offer us fewer options and higher rates.

I am providing for my health care by joining a health care sharing ministry instead of buying an ACA exchange plan. If I have eligible medical expenses, I submit them to the ministry. For individual doctor visits, I pay out of pocket at the often-lower cash rate. I pay a monthly share of $185 a month—and I know exactly where my money is going. For example: “For Sara Smith, who was tested for an abnormal heartbeat; or for Joe and Lacy, who are expecting a baby in August.”

Young entrepreneurs facing pregnancy often struggle to find affordable, out-of-pocket maternity provision. Unlike the ACA, most health care sharing ministries embrace life from conception and thus have very generous maternity offerings.

Real people. Real care. Transparent. Affordable for entrepreneurs. 100 percent my choice.

Third Secret: Peeping Toms Go Unpunished

“Peeping toms” face repercussions if caught. Politicians face zero consequences for compelling you to join a socialized medicine exchange via a website rife with security vulnerabilities. Here’s a sampling:

January 20, 2015: The Associated Press reports, “The government’s health insurance website is quietly passing along consumers’ personal data to outside websites (advertisers) …”

January 23, 2015: Amidst public outcry the administration agrees to dial back some, though not all, of the personal information healthcare.gov shares with third-party websites.

February 20, 2015: The New York Times announces, “About 800,000 taxpayers who enrolled in insurance policies through healthcare.gov received erroneous tax information from the government …”

March 1, 2015: The Government Accountability Office (GAO) releases a report citing ongoing “problems” and the need to “further implement system development best practices” for healthcare.gov.

July 24, 2015: Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas writes: “To this day, the $2 billion website has glitches.”

Fourth Secret: ACA Could Triple Your Chance of Depression

In March, the CDC journal Preventing Chronic Disease reported that unemployed Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 were 3.17 times more likely than their employed peers to become depressed. Nearly 15 percent of Millennials have been unemployed and over a third—a historic high—have lived with their parents during the Obama reign.

AdvaMed revealed empirical data to the Minneapolis Star Tribune in late January showing that the heavy tax levied on the medical device industry—Congress’s way of “paying” for universal health care—costs tens of thousands of American jobs. About 14,000 jobs were lost in 2013; 4,500 industry jobs were lost in 2014; and an additional 20,500 jobs will be lost within five years. The administration needs to rake in $26 billion by beating an unemployed horse—I mean, through taxing the medical device industry—over the next 10 years in order to “pay” for the ACA.

Talented Millennials are facing meager job prospects, reduced hours or lower benefits. Socialized medicine was supposed to make us healthier. By ushering in higher levels of under- and unemployment, it has instead made us more vulnerable to debilitating depression.

Fifth Secret: D.C. Conflates Fancy with Functional

Giorgetto Guigiaro is the entrepreneur behind many famous hot rods. He now designs cars for the Volkswagen Audi Group. In March, he told the Wall Street Journal that a common design mistake is “to design something that has no other value than being something ‘new.’ If it has no function, it is not design.’

We can all agree to improve health care. We can also agree that we did not need to destroy our health care system in order to improve it. On November 25, 2013—several months before coverage took effect through the Affordable Insurance Exchange—the vast majority of Americans (79 percent) told Gallup that they were satisfied with the quality of their current health care.

Most Americans preferred a functional plan over a fancy health care.gov plan which often amounts to no plan at all (when many employers drop insurance altogether) or an unaffordable plan (especially for the self-employed).

Regarding the landmark Supreme Court ruling on June 25: it is not in the best interest of any American—particularly Millennials, who bear the bulk of the ACA’s financial burden—for nine justices who are appointed for life to have more power over their health care decisions than the congresspeople whom they elect; their doctors; or even themselves.

The Supreme Court’s role, as articulated by founding father Alexander Hamilton is the opposite of the law-making role that the Court’s majority assumed on June 25. Hamilton wrote in The Federalist Papers:  “The judiciary … may be truly said to have neither FORCE nor WILL but merely judgment.” [Emphasis in original.] Usurping the role of Congress, the court rewrote the ACA and the Constitution—in an ostensible attempt to justify the administration in violating states’ rights.

Of the nearly 300 doctors that I interviewed for Let Me Be Clear, close to 90 percent said the ACA would “discourage talented young people from attending medical school and exacerbate the shortage of doctors and surgeons in the U.S.” They also thought the plan would raise costs and lower the quality of care for all Americans, especially Millennials.

These are five secrets every Millennial needs to know about health policy. Pass them on.