Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Don't Pass the Buck Back to Mommy & Daddy-- Mommy & Daddy Are Broke

All Mommy and Daddy have left... if they're lucky

Has it ever occurred to anyone else that the ability for young adults to stay on their parents' insurance until age 26 under Obamacare is just one more example of passing the buck?

Giving students the ability to borrow to pay for their educations, once heralded as a godsend for the middle class, did nothing to help control the growth of the cost of higher education and has now mired those it was intended to help in decades of debt.  What was once the prime years for laying a financial foundation for the future are now years spent slaving to dig out of student debt, if they're even able to make any progress.

By the same token, the ability to be covered on their parents' insurance does nothing to keep the cost of insurance from increasing exponentially over the years-- it merely disguises the burden of the cost as an "opportunity" and shifts the responsibility to parents.  The insurance companies still get paid, they've just been kind enough to let someone else pay the bill.  So generous of them.

It's very similar to the way the HSA was supposed to help families save to cover medical expenses.  Insurance companies got to shift costs to insureds in the form of higher deductibles, and the government gave up revenue to give people a tax break as an incentive to save.  Guess they never even considered that many people don't have any extra money TO save, or that insurance companies don't have any incentive to contain costs.  The insurance lobby won again, and Americans were left holding the bag on a larger share of their medical expenses while insurance companies continue to squeeze more profit from already-strapped consumers.

Has no one else even considered that caring for their own parents, caring for themselves (since their 20s and 30s were spent buried in debt, they're lucky to have much if anything saved) and having cared for their now-grown children may have exhausted the parents' resources?

With the cooperation of the government, greedy corporations can keep trying to pass the buck back to Mommy and Daddy instead of addressing the underlying problem of the uncontrolled escalation of healthcare costs, but they'd better not count on parents being able to pay the bill-- sooner or later (and for some, it's ALREADY), Mommy and Daddy will be broke.

Image credit: Flickr, puuikibeach

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