CEPR - Center for Economic and Policy Research


En Español

Em Português

Other Languages

Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press NYT Missed the News: Exchanges Need Healthy People, Young Doesn't Matter

NYT Missed the News: Exchanges Need Healthy People, Young Doesn't Matter

Friday, 20 December 2013 05:10

The NYT apparently hasn't gotten the word. Kaiser Family Foundation did an analysis showing that the age composition of the insurance pool in the exchanges will have little impact on costs. The issue is the health mix. If the exchanges fail to attract older healthy people it will cause as much of a problem as if it fails to attract young healthy people. (On a per person basis the loss is larger, since healthy old people pay three times as much for insurance.)

Unfortunately the NYT has not gotten the word. It again told readers that:

"That requirement, often called an individual mandate, is needed to guarantee that insurers attract young healthy people to help offset the costs of covering older Americans who require more medical care, insurers say."

The relevant adjective is "healthy," young really doesn't matter.

Comments (2)Add Comment
written by Last Mover, December 20, 2013 4:42

Exactly. If MSM wants to whip up the myth of an inter-generational war, it should be more clear that it's actually an intra-generational war going on within and between boomers themselves as they cannibalize each other to save their own young.
youth matters
written by Jim Devine, December 21, 2013 10:33
Of course you are right, Dean, that what _any_ insurance scheme requires is not young people but healthy people. But there's a reason for the media conflation of young with healthy: the younger folks are less likely to want and sign up for insurance because they think they're immortal -- or at least that they can avoid health insurance until it's "needed." So extra effort is required to get them to jump into the risk pool.

Write comment

(Only one link allowed per comment)

This content has been locked. You can no longer post any comments.


Support this blog, donate
Combined Federal Campaign #79613

About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.