Young people are forgoing medical care because of cost. What does that mean for the future?
June 11th, 2012
05:00 PM ET

Young people are forgoing medical care because of cost. What does that mean for the future?

By CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Increasingly young Americans can no longer afford to get sick.

A new report shows that millions of young adults are skipping necessary care because of rising health care costs.

The survey put out by Commonwealth Fund shows 41% of those between 19 and 29-years-old failed to get medical care because it's too expensive. When it comes to uninsured adults, that number jumps to 60%.

There a lot of implications to this - none of them good.

Young adults are not filling prescriptions, not getting recommended tests or treatments, avoiding doctor visits and not seeking specialist care they need.

Doctors say young adults often stop listening to medical advice once they hear how much treatment it will cost.

And those who actually do decide to get medical care wind up with loads of debt.

36% of young adults had problems paying off their medical bills - or paid the bills over time.

Some young people say they've used up all their savings to pay medical bills. Others have taken on credit card debt or have been unable to pay off student loans.

Still others say they've put off education or career plans because of medical money issues; or they say they haven't been able to pay for things like food or rent.

Experts say growing medical debt is in part due to "the tremendous cost shift" to patients because of high-deductibles, co-payments and co-insurance.

The Commonwealth Fund says that President Obama's health care law has helped more young adults get insurance because they can stay on their parents' plans until 26.

But if the Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare - and we'll know soon enough - young Americans might face even more medical troubles.

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Lisa in Connecticut:
As someone who just got an appalling bill for $25,000 for an approximately 1 hour procedure to break up a kidney stone, I can see how people forgo treatment because of cost.

Bob in Ohio:
The young are caught in the same dilemma as the old. The old choose between food, pills and utilities. I’m guessing the young are juggling a student loan, a mortgage and raising children. The cost of health care pays for utilities and food for a month.

Greg in Bremerton, Washington:
Quite frankly, tough bounce for these young spoiled youth. They seem to have plenty of money to party, vacation, and ask their parents and grandparents to foot the bill while attending college. So, they can just get off their duffs and get responsible. I don't care about their future until they begin to care and plan appropriately themselves.

Oliver in El Paso, Texas:
Congress better start thinking about how to help the poor people in this country. These young people will have serous medical problems down the road through no fault of their own.

Judi in Virginia Beach:
I'll tell you what it means, Jack. It means they will be staying home with Mom & Dad even longer! I have a 26-year-old and a 29 year-old, both with college degrees living at home because they can't get a job and can't afford to live on their own. They are working at low wage jobs (waiting tables, etc) and can only afford their car payments and student loan payments. My husband is retired and we still have kids at home! This isn't the American Dream any of us dreamed about.

Boomer in Missouri:
A co-worker nearly died of pneumonia because he didn’t want to pay the deductible to go to the doctor.

Posted by
Filed under: Health care
soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. TomInRochNY

    It means health care costs have gone too far and no one has done enough to cap them. Those in government and the health care industry have had ample warning and decided to get as much profit for themselves instead. It means that no matter what republicans say we are eventually going single payer. It's very ironic that government inaction, including by republicans, has led to more socialism. Gotta luv it!

    Tom, Rochester, NY

    June 11, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  2. Pete in Georgia

    It means that millions of people 20 years from now will simply walk into hospital emergency rooms accross America and receive treatment free.
    They're not stupid, they know they'll not be turned away.

    June 11, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  3. June in Wyoming

    It means they better be taking care of themselves, by exercising and not eating junk and fast food.

    My husband is 68, eligible for Medicare and VA medical. He hasn't seen a doctor
    in several years. They want him on statin drugs and he declined. He chose his own option of working hard physically, lifting weights, almost never eating out, making whole wheat bread, eating game meat, eating cilantro and parsley for salad, growing our vegetable garden, etc. etc. He recommends this kind of living, plus staying away from doctors unless it's an emergency. When he dies, his preference is for his remains to be tossed out in the wilderness somewhere.

    June 11, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  4. DT - Saint Paul, MN

    The last thing we need is for people to go to the doctor MORE.

    June 11, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  5. Russ in PA

    Why, oh why, can't people learn that government intervention into markets – be they the health markets starting in the early 1900's when the AMA (a cartel) managed to close down so many medical schools in the US or be they education today – only results in the formation of favored cartels and businesses, limiting customer choice and competitive pricing. You want affordable health care? Look at those free market health businesses cropping up around the country, and you'll see that competition remains the answer, not government mandates and crony capitalism.

    Ron Paul in 2012...

    June 11, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  6. Boomer in Mo

    A co-worker nearly died of pneumonia because they did not want to pay the deductible to go to the doctor.

    June 11, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  7. JD in NH

    Young people, middle-aged people, old people . . . everyone puts off medical care because it's too expensive. We need to get the profit out of healthcare and pass a law than will make sure every American gets necessary medical care without going bankrupt.

    June 11, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  8. Mel - Houston

    That's the reason we need "primary" care that is covered by a single payer system. The problem with that is what insurance company is going to want the business of catastrophic coverage only.

    June 11, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  9. Beth-Canada

    I'm sorry Jack but this is just plain wrong. Here in Canada we all have affordable health coverage and I would be heart sick if my two children had to go without health care because of costs. I'm no expert, but from what I have read,the most effective and affordable health care plans in the world are government run so why can't the U.S. get on board. In a country where billions are being spent on election campaigns and trillions spent on wars, how can the powers that be justify not having medical coverage that is affordable to all? What it means for the future is that without medical care, there will be higher incidences of illness and disease, the cost of which will fall to the tax payers. This does not make sense. I suggest that President Obama's plan be given a second, serious look.

    June 11, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  10. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    "A stitch in time saves nine." (Mary Elizabeth Lawler)

    With Health it is pay now or later, and the later will be nine times as costly. Preventive medicine is one of the undervalued benefits of the President's Affordable Care Act. One of the reasons other industrialized nations have better health care is because they have preventive medicine.

    June 11, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  11. Bill of New Mexico

    It is like that question asked at one of the Republican Presidential debates. One of the candidates was essentially asked the same question.

    News People (as well as the public) thought that the Tea Party's answer was horrible.

    I don't think charity is going to step up to the plate.

    I am paying more for insurance, and getting less. At this rate (of change) in 15 or so years, I'll be in the same situation. We all will have no health care for expensive procedures except for the 1%.

    June 11, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  12. DT - Saint Paul, MN

    It means people need to be paid more. What would the Republican answer be? Lower costs? Isn't that the answer for everything? Of course what they don't tell you is they plan to lower costs by refusing coverage.

    June 11, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  13. Gary in San Jose, California

    It means the American Dream has been derailed. Aren't we supposed to provide a better life for our children?

    June 11, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  14. Tom in Desoto, TX

    Hopefully at some point soon the young will realize education, clean air and water are deteriorating, and freedoms are being suppressed and that dismantling of health care is only the beginning. Draconian conservatism is changing the country to equal many 3rd world levels.

    June 11, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  15. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    It simply means that the Americans who do have health insurance will be further burdened with the spiraling medical cost produced by both those who can afford medical insurance and those who can't. Just like the failures in the housing market collapse, those that did everything right in attaining a home mortgage will equally suffer from bad business judgement decisions made by those who who acquired their homes through substandard mortgage practices..

    June 11, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  16. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Jack I believe that everyone thinks because of Obama care and the current rules governing hospitals who can not turn away anyone based on income is lulling people into a false since of security. Someone is going to pay for those hospital bills for people who can not afford to pay, be it in raised insurance rates or raised taxes. I can remember when I was younger I never went to the doctor not because I could not afford it but because I just didn't like doctors. As you get older and creak every time you take a step a doctor becomes your best friend.

    June 11, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  17. Michael Bindner, Alexandria VA

    Not much, because under health care reform, no one will have to forego care for much longer – although this will increase cost and may eventually lead to something more like single-payer. If young people had use of a single-payer catastrophic policy with a combination of a health savings account and a flexible spending account to cover the gap between the deductible and the balanced accumulated, they would not forego care. That may or may not lead to cost control, since such a system would assure access. One would hope it would lead to smarter shopping – however because you get the care the doctor says you get, health care is not really a normal good. It may not respond to market pressure.

    June 11, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  18. Brad, Portland, OR

    That all depends on whether the activist Republican Supreme Court overturns the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare").

    If Obamacare survives, then affordable health insurance will be available for everyone. If it's reversed, then health insurance will only be available for the wealthy and those who have white collar jobs. People in blue collar jobs, people who work retail, or food service, etc. will be left to fend for themselves.

    June 11, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  19. David in Natchez

    It means they will be healthier than their parents. The pill pushing medical profession will lose a generation and the younger people will be better off. Doctors,lawyers,insurance sales and news people, put them all in a boat and head it for an ice berg.

    June 11, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  20. Loren, Chicago

    This is new? When I was young and starting out, I couldn't afford the dentist or the doctor, so they weren't seen. When I got medical insurance, I continued avoiding them, unless it seemed a dire emergency. I survived. So will the young people of today.

    June 11, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  21. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    It means the Republicans should have left their hands off of Obama care. This is just another sign that we are becoming a nation of rich and poor. That is perfectly all right with the Republicans because of people they represent can afford health care so why worry about anyone else. Dick Cheney is a good example of this he has a new heart ticking inside his chest because of his money and excellent health care coverage. But on the other side the tracks there are people who are dying early and suffering because they cannot even afford medicine. The trickle-down theory was supposed to fix all this but how can it when the nozzle is always pointed upwards.

    June 11, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  22. Susan-NJ

    It may mean they stay healthier longer. The hospitals are a money making organization and they have proven they care not about infections-proceedures have to be done-they make 2x's the money.

    June 11, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  23. Ed from California

    Keep on voting republican and the future is here!! Mr. Boehner, "Where are the jobs"?? How people keep voting against their own best interest is beyond me. We brought all this upon ourselves. Keep on voting for the 1%! Maybe they'll throw you a half eaten chicken bone, if your lucky!!

    June 11, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  24. Annie, Atlanta

    It's not just young people, Jack. I know a lot of people, not just young, who are foregoing a simple trip to the doctor because of the costs involved. What is health care reform that doesn't reform health care as far as the stupidly outrageous costs? To me that's not health care reform, it was a giveaway to health insurance corporations and pharmaceutical companies. Even the doctors get screwed in the deal. We need to figure out a way to fight the large profit driven corporations and the politicians that support said corporations, and most of us dodn't even realize it because we buy into that F-word station's bs on corporations provide jobs so we must protect them at all costs. Very sad what we've turned into.

    June 11, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  25. Doug Ericson

    It means longer and longer waits at the emergency room if the problem isn't corrected. It also means Congress needs to get its priorities straight, and come up with some sort of Public Option, ( free health insurance ), for folks that can't afford it. Why is the the USA slipping back in every catagory you can think of, ( medical care, education, manufacturing ), compared to other countries? Even folks with Health Insurance like myself are still getting wacked for certain proceedures. You don't want to know what it cost to have an Oral Surgeon, ( who is very good at what he does ), take your teeth out, even with a 2000 dollar a year allowance for Dental Care. I probably won't live long enough to get my George Washingtons. Two thousand covers about 4 tooth extractions a year, and I still have to pay over a thousand more out of pocket. I have no problem with the amount, but what does it say, when someone from a family with an income of over 100 thousand a year, and full Health Insurance, can't afford to get their teeth fixed? Well, I will tell you, in case you don't already know, and that is, we have the most Corrupt bunch of Crooks in Congress in the history of all Governments ever invented. We have the worst Crooks in every Department of the Govermnent ever assembled on this Planet. And there is not a single exception to this fact that I can think of. Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    June 11, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  26. Richard Oak Harbor, Wa

    Young people don't forecast their future as much as they remember their educations about the past. For thousands of years there was no medical science. When a worker building the pyramids stubbed his toe where was the healthcare? When a Roman Legionaire got cleved in battle where were the paramedics to stop the bleeding?

    Moral of the story: If you want kids to worry about what might happen to them in the future teaching them that dinosaurs went extinct because of the ice age will not get them to solve global warming. If you want young people to have health insurance take it directly from their paychecks then they'll have it when they need it.

    June 11, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  27. David, in hot and sunny Tampa

    I think it means we need meaningful health care reform in this country, not the ideological driven nightmare from the last couple of years and the absolute disaster that served as health care prior to that. Medical care for the aged is in as big a mess as that for young people. Medicare, the goose that laid the golden eggs for the AMA since the late 60's, will be kaput in a few years then what are most people going to do? Costs for everything in the health care system, from education to aspirin, has skyrocketed and those costs have to be passed along to the consumer. Health care by greed isn't better health care just selective health care.

    June 11, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  28. jk in MN

    A lower life expectancy. It also means that this country needs to come to grip with the reality that healthcare should NOT be a for-profit business.

    June 11, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  29. NC Jeff in Sims

    I'm 56 and am forgoing medical care. I don't think it's something that the "young" are doing Jack, it's all age groups from all walks of life. It's all a racket. From the costs of care and medicine to the costs of malpractice insurance to the cost of paying lawsuits. Lets see now...are doctors and lawyers hurting? How many in Congress come from these fields?

    June 11, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  30. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    This has tremendous long term ramifications on our entire society as well as debt. When the Supreme Court overturns the Health Care Law they will bury many young people; I don't know how Congress sleeps and how the Justices look in a mirror.

    June 11, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  31. Jenna Roseville CA

    Young people are forgoing medical care because of cost. What does that mean for the future?

    It means that we can't get the Patient Protection and Afordability Act up and running at 100% fast enough!

    Roseville CA

    June 11, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  32. Gary H. Boyd

    Jack, America's already a sick society LITERALLY. High health care costs will simply make it a sick society PHYSICALLY as well.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    June 11, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  33. Eric M. Los Angeles

    "Obama"Care, "Romney"Care,"Joe Schmo"Care... I don't care what name you give it, there needs to be affordable comprehensive health coverage for all. Period!

    June 11, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  34. Pete in Florida

    It means that this is only the beginning. Once the Supremes strike down Obamacare and/or the Repubs take over Congress and the White House, the insurance companies will completely control who gets medical care, what conditions they'll cover, what treatment and drugs you can have, and what it will cost you. The REAL 'death panels' will finally be in charge of YOUR life.

    June 11, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  35. Phyllis G. Williams

    Young people are foregoing medical care because of cost. What does that mean for the future?

    With a whole generation's life at risk, the Government should make Health Care a priority.

    June 11, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  36. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    Food, clothing, shelter, and medical care, are the costly essentials they seem to be slipping away from the mythical American dream. All of those necessities seem to care little for those naysayers in government, and in the private sector, leaving one to fend for their selves. The future indeed looks sick.

    June 11, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  37. Shirley Parry Sound, Ontario

    And how about those who don't seek MENTAL health care? Lack of any kind of treatment puts us all at risk.

    June 11, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  38. Gigi Oregon

    There is no excuse but greed if health care is struck down by the supreme court. Health care is the biggest scam in America and insurance is a joke. If we had put our medical insurance payments in a bank account 50 years ago we would be very wealthy today. Even what we paid out for a family of six. We have paid in health care, since retirement, co-pays for unnecessary return visits that would pay for a nice cruise for two. We tell our kids and grand kids start a medical fund, and do home remedies and use pharmacy advice before making unnecessary visits. And don't listen to all the fear tactics tied to preventive care use some common sence and do your home work.

    During the Great depression our grand parents never went to the doctor for minor ailments and had their children at home and the doctor got there in time (some times) to announce the sex of the child... Our grand parents and parents lived into their early nineties. We are being driven to the poor house by corporate America and greed. Other wise know as Capitalism.

    June 11, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  39. John E


    The Sickcare system we have is fundamentally broken. I call it sickcare because it focuses everyhing around sickness not health. It would need to be flipped on its head and the compensation structure for all sickcare would need to be rethought. I don't know what the final system would look like, all I know this isn't it. Blaming young people for not participating due to costs is like blaming the baby for the costs of childbirth. Look at the true problems; politicians, hospital interests, doctor interests, big pharma and the rest who pay millions to keep the status quo, even as far as paying off a president to do what they want in exhange of 4-5 good things better known as Obamacare. The status quo no loner works, that is the true problem, not young people not getting services.

    John E
    San Jose, CA

    June 11, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  40. Bert in LA, CA

    Hi Jack, The health of a nation state depends upon the well being of the people. Once people see no hope for their well being, then there is no hope for patriotism and that is a major national security problem. If young people go to war it will not be to protect the wealth of the 1%.

    June 11, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  41. Larry in Houston

    Young people are forgoing medical care because of cost. What does that mean for the future ?
    Answer : It means that for every living / working / breathing / person alive, "Death & Taxes" has proven it's point.
    To be perfectly honest – maybe we need more doctors in the medical field. If they can ship our Jobs overseas to other people who can do the same work, and pay them cheap wages, then the same goes for the medical field. If this country "imports" millions of Doctors that can perform the same identical work that the millionaire doctors does here in this country, believe me, doctors office visits & everything related to the medical field from surgery's to hospital stays, will be much, much, cheaper. Why ? because of the competition.

    June 11, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  42. Dave, Orlando, FL

    It means that life expectancy will reverse and begin to decline. But there is a silver lining to that cloud – that is, if you are one of the thugs who have been raiding the SS trust fund for the last 75 years. As life expectancy returns to 65 and lower, there will be more money in the trust fund for you to steal since people will only pay into it and never get to draw on it. And you thought government can’t do anything right – all you have to do is be a crook and you’ve got it made.

    June 11, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  43. Oliver El Paso, TX

    Congress better start think about how to help the poor people of the USA, all you hear from Romney and the GOP, is cut the benefits to the poor and middle class and seniors citizens. They should all be impeach for not doing their job. The American people are paying then to do their job, right now we are not getting our money worth, This children will have serous medical problems down the road at no fault of their own.

    June 11, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  44. Ed in Harrisburg

    Jack, the sad truth is means that the mean-spirited Republicans who are in bed with the insurance companies and who are subserviant to the inhumanity of the Racist, Sexist and Agist Tea Party, Grover Norquest, Carl Rove, Sheldon Adelson and others are winning the economic Darwinian war against the middle class by thinning out the herd by blocking universal health care and letting young people get sick and possibly get less than adequate medical care.

    June 11, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  45. John Lake Charles, LA

    Doctors are in business to make profits. Hospitals are in business to make profits. Drug companies are in business to make profits. Insurance companies are in business to make profits. Do you see a pattern here Jack?

    June 11, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  46. NurseLisa in CT

    as someone who just got an appalling bill for >$25,000 for an approximately 1 hour lithotripsy procedure to break up a kidney stone without surgery, it makes sense that people forgo treatment because of cost. When people balk at paying for healthcare for the poor, they fail to realize, we with insurance and jobs ARE ALREADY paying for it!

    June 11, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  47. Sabrina form Canada

    Why most of the American people are against the Obamacare then? It is spurring that America is facing this type of issue today when most of the developed countries have dealt with it longtime ago.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  48. Carl


    Only Illegal aliens get free medical. You have to give up your U.S. citizenship, then break into the United States, then you get your free medical, and you get to vote, illegally of coarse, but that simple fact doesn't matter here.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  49. RickFromDetroit

    It means that we should consolidate all of the different types of health care into a single system and call it Medicare. [I.E. health care insurance, workers compensation, auto liability insurance, home owners insurance, personal property insurance, medicare, medicaid, veterans administration, internal revenue service, [bankruptcy], and many charitable organizations who provide medical services when insurance companies or government organizations fail to pay. The cancer society, arthritis foundation, heart association, etc., etc.] We have more health care related organizations than we have patients.

    Who benefits from this type of health care systems?? Insurance company executives, lawyers, shareholders, independent medical examiners, and various other gangsters who profit from the hardships of the Ill, injured, and diseased.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  50. Sandstone

    "What does it mean?? Seizer's are at work, and many more reasons are needed for these little one's, as to why they're being forgotten!"

    June 11, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  51. CurtJ

    Obviously it is time to go after the politicians whose conflict of interest and collusion enables them to prostitute their votes to financially and legally benefit their corporate pimps. They are past, present and future employees as well as taken bribe money from them. They ship tens of billions of dollars to Israel to enable the Israelis to fund their own Single Payer National Health Insurance Program from the Israeli government that allows every Israeli a government run insurance program from birth to death, while refusing to allow Americans the same as it will cut into the profit margins of their neo con pimps. As usual, you will refuse to print anything that goes against your neo con masters. Parasites. Treaonous parasites at that.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  52. Paul in NC

    It means the right wing agenda has succeeded and we will soon be on par with third world countries when it comes to health care. Our economy, education and civil rights aren't far behind. The Supreme Court has been complicit in this and I fully expect they will over turn the Affordable Care Act. The hand writing was on the wall when Roberts and Alito were seated. Now it's more like a neon sign. The party that brought us "morning in America" is now leading us into darkness.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  53. Sandstone

    "Maybe these little one's, need to get in more Collision Control, for the way they're being treated!"

    June 11, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  54. Jay

    It means I can look forward to hanging out with my new American-born neighbours after they move up here to Canada. I’m sure they’ll love going to doctor visits without having to drag along a couple of gold bars to pay for it.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  55. Donna Wisconsin

    It will mean the future will be full of adults who will need costly healthcare because they couldn't get preventative care or even care for an illness early. We should be ashamed that the richest country in the world can't provide healthcare to it's citizens! The Right wants to call it 'socialism". Then why are other countries in better shape than we are with healthcare costs anf results? I call it "what Jesus would do"–take care of us all–not just the wealthy.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  56. curtis in philadelphia

    This is a very smart, tuned in generation you're speaking of, maybe they realize something we don't: that the future is too bleak to invest in.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  57. j.torrey1@hotmail.com

    That only the Rich will have the health care our parents had.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  58. Jim, Denver CO

    It means my premiums and taxes will go up because of 'uninsured' people using the ER too much. We need a Single Payer system along with capping of both medical & insurance costs. Why the U.S. is the only 1st world industrialized country without these things is just stupid.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  59. Ed in California

    If the SCOTS strikes down Obama Care in its entirety, the President will appeal to the U.N. saying it is a right which a racist court is denying poor people of color. He will start by asking the U.N. to condemn the actions of the court...then...who knows?


    June 11, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  60. Tony from Southport

    It means we need leadership to bring the cost of health care DOWN not UP as with Obamacare. TORT REFORM. I'm sure you know what THAT is. And allow Americans to buy insurance across state lines..... the word is "competition" and I'm sure you have heard THAT before. I can buy auto insurance on line at very reasonable rates. Not so with health care insurance. Leadership is the answer. Romney in 2012. Spread the word Jack....wait..... you're on CNN..... never mind, you probably like your job.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  61. Jim Charlotte NC

    My guess is that nobody cares. We are a society today that has their heads in the sand. Our elected officials seem to beleive that if you don't think about things they will disappear. Much like Fossil fuels, global warming and the debt.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  62. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York

    A bad omen, but forseeable because of the hypocrisy of Congress, who while enjoying a lifetime 75% taxpayer-subsidized health option, has decided that health care for all other Americans is a privilege and not a right. In lieu of a public option, it's time for President Obama to impose wage and price controls on all insurance companies, hospitals, and health professionals.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  63. Dan from Stewartstown PA

    Maybe in this "instant gratification", no commitment "Let's hook up." generation, there's absolutely no thought to the future – neither the individual's nor society's as a whole. Politicians are bought outright by Super PACs, votes are negated through judicial wrangling and voters are removed from rolls by partizen manipulations. Why should young people seek medical care when the costs will probably end up just like college loans. They are harmful and never-ending for the seekers and eternally profitable for the providers.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  64. Greg Cox of Bremerton, WA

    Quite frankly, tough bounce for these young spoiled youth. They seem to have plenty of money to party, vacation, get tattoos (at $80+ per hour!), ski, climb, and ask their parents and grandparents to foot the bill and poo-pah part time jobs while attending college. So, they can just get off their duffs and get responsible. We won't give college aid to our grandchildren who fit the above description. Until they do, I don't care about their future until they begin to care and plan appropriately themselves.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  65. Mr. D

    The young people are smart. They see what the healthcare-insurance complex has done to this country, and they are not buying it (literally). Mabe they would rather be bogged down with health issues rather than financial issues. What a countrty.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  66. Conor in Chicago

    The solution for these people is so simple: Find a corporation that will sponsor your election campaign, take a few lessons on how to speak dramatically, speak in jingoistic phrases at a 3rd grade level, blame your opponent for every ill in the world, and then the next thing you know you get a 6 figure salary with full benefits for life. From there, you can do the bidding of your corporate masters in order maintain your lifestyle and occasionally talk about how “awesome” America supposedly is.

    Of course, in our “Free market” society, those who don’t think to do this first shouldn’t be helped because society shouldn’t pick winners and losers, only the market should. So, if you don’t go to the doctor because it’s too expensive then that’s too bad, just go and die with a little dignity. Oh, don’t forget to love Jesus too…

    June 11, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  67. Mark in Oklahoma City

    Jack, what good have we made of this nation if its citizens fear getting sick because of the bill? We should be ashamed that we have allowed this to happen. If we cannot help the sick...what can we do?

    June 11, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  68. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr. Cafferty:

    It means that...nevermind their future, ask me again after Dec 21st of this year if we are still here.

    June 11, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  69. ken, atlantic city, nj

    It means that obama and the dems have done nothing for young people other than talk. High tuition, no jobs for new college grads, cheap labor from other countries, illegal immigrants, high health care costs, high rent and endless wars all mean there is no future for the young who continue to support corporate owned liars like obama and all of congress including the so called progressive liberal dems.

    June 11, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  70. C. Robinson

    What does it mean? It means we are right back to survival of the fittest. Or in this case, survival of the richest.

    June 11, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  71. Smack

    It means less old people.

    June 11, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  72. Clare from Florida

    What it means Jack, is that you die young as a Republican!!!

    June 11, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  73. Dave In Texas

    Jack, simply rename medical insurance "iMedical" and kids will jump on board. When it comes to a new iPhone or iPad vs health care it's easy to see what they are buying.

    June 11, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  74. A stewart

    This just proves that "obama care" needs to stand. The Republicans need to think of the ordinary middle class people.
    They have insurance and think only of themselves.

    June 11, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  75. Martha Campbell

    It means that the Republicans and the now republican supreme court have no regard for the young, the old, or anyone in between. So more people will die and become burdens to society from illness because they will be unable to afford necessary healthcare. Future generations definitely will have more health problems and be a drain on society if affordable healthcare is not available to them.

    Jamestown, PA

    June 11, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  76. Megan in Waynesboro, VA

    If health care is unaffordable, then all those young folks studying to become our next generation of health professionals could get knocked out of their dreams by something as simple as a really bad cold. Forget free clinics, how many of them are actually FREE?

    June 11, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  77. Jim

    It means that business will have unhealthy, low productive slaves.

    June 11, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  78. Amy, 23, PA

    Of course we're skipping doctor's visits and doing at home medical treatments... the cost of everything is ridiculous! You pay your copay, (if you are lucky enough to have a small copay), then you pay for the treatment - be it medications or another visit, and then to top it off, you pay for your follow up. All in all, you get one bad toothache or really sick, you could be paying out anywhere from $150 – god knows how much. It may not seem like much to some, but to others, that's groceries. What will happen in the future? I don't know... either we'll have bigger problems to deal with down the road or we'll become more self sufficient, forcing costs to come down. *That would be nice!!

    June 11, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  79. Stephanie in Seattle

    Let me know when they start going without their I-pods, smart phones, upgrades to their lap tops and their Starbucks. When I was younger I found myself without insurance on more than one occasion, so I got my own policy. It only covered catastrophic situations because the deductible was so high and I had to get a second job to pay for it but I knew no one else would be responsible for me, but ...well me. Time for our youth to take responsibility for themselves. We figured it out and so can they. I lived and worked in a recession from the time I got out of college until I was about 31 yrs old and I didn't expect the gov't to take care of me. It's called work.

    June 11, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  80. Cee.La

    It means if the SC overturns the Health Act, that all young Americans should bolt for Canada.....or somewhere that they can have affordable care.......this is a disgrace.........and I might not be far behind.!!

    June 11, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  81. Chris

    Why are supposedly healthy young people have so much "health debt". I have not seen a doctor in over a decade and that was for an elective surgical procedure. They need to stop seeing the doctor for the sniffles.

    June 11, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  82. Marsha in Honolulu

    My granddaughter is turning 21 and has a rare disease that requires weekly visits to ER and several doctors. She has limited insurance through her step-mother that will be devastating if she is no longer covered. We have contributed $30k a year to fill the gaps and it is seriously depleting our retirement savings. She can't get insurance herself if there is the limit of pre-existing condition and can't work to afford it anyway. Seriously hoping the Supreme Court doesn't cancel the health care initiative!

    June 11, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  83. Jan - Gibson City, IL

    It means the same thing that it does for those who are 47 or 59 or even 62 on Social Security. You don't GET any health care. You go years without it unless something hurts so much that you totally embarrass yourself and go to the ER. Geeze, Jack – it's not only young people. If they have kids they can get Medicaid. If they're single, like those of us on the ice floe, they get nothing.

    June 11, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  84. Ron Balouville CT

    It means we are very quickly becoming a 3rd world country Jack. I am in my mid 40's and its expencive. The medical insurance that I have is not the best in the world but its atleast something after the huge deductable is met. that deductible is what keeps me from going to the doctor. so I hope my health stays in check for atleast another couple of decades. Even if i have a huge medical issue i could not afford to get the help one would need so I would likely let it take its course.

    June 11, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  85. rbodine

    Your inflammatory question can be turned against you. What would it mean for the future if these same young people went to the hospital every time they had a headache because they knew the treatment was free? Whether the ACA ("Obamacare") is a good idea or not economically, it's illegality makes it a bad idea anyway. However, even with a constitutional amendment, it's a bad idea because this is an issue best handled by the states. The states should be choosing whether or not to implement these plans themselves. At least now the dialogue has started, so maybe more states will consider it, and your question and mine can become moot.

    June 11, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  86. Jean from Tampa FL

    A better investment than medical care would be a Gym membership or some other type of exercise program. A lousy diet and sedentary life style are at the basis of most medical problems, diabetes, heart disease , cancer etc. If people are serious about staying health...try being more active and eat better. America has one of the lowest life expectancies in the world and we spend more on health care than everyone else. THIs IS OUR HEALTH CARE CRISIS.

    June 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  87. jeff

    It means they do not need to worry about the social security money that won't be there

    June 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  88. John J. Grimes Watertown, Ma.

    It's difficult to comprehend how young Americans must go without medical care while those who are in the country illegally or having their lives subsdiized by the rest of us who work one & two jobs to get by, get it for nothing. Explain that fact to all of us who can't figure it out.

    June 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  89. Tanner

    As an 17 year old soon turning 18 and going into college this reminds me how important my parents and a nationalized healthcare plan is to this country and generations to come. If I don't take care of an issue I have right now it drops the load on the next generation to pay for my medicare and medicade costs when that issue causes serious damaged in my old age.
    Gosh I hope I get a good job.

    June 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  90. Gerold from Alabama

    It means that healthcare costs will be shifted on those who can pay by having more people visiting emergency rooms. Everyone knows that hospitals add a little here and a little there to current hospital patients to soften the blow to their profits. If the Republicans get their way..this will continue as it was before President Obama took office. At least he defied the "good ole boy" way of doing things and kept his promise of making health care cost worries a thing of the past for the majority of Americans.

    June 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  91. Duke from the Crowbar Saloon

    Well now, given that one-third of young folks are Obese, I predict we all will soon be paying their burgeoning medical bills. Obviously, we need to bring down medical costs: for instance, the newest medication for Multiple Sclerosis, Copaxone, costs , via Medicare, us taxpayer's $24,000/year. [Some MS patients pay a fraction of this cost.] There are several such medications that the big pharmaceutical corporations are over-charging for– bringing down costs & premiums would benefit all, so let's do that...didn't President Nixon try to put price controls on Rx costs? I sure do not want to be utilizing mass transit, doing my green duty, while sitting next to some young person who's coughing and coughing, putting off seeing a doctor because s/he can't afford health insurance nor a doctor's fee, never mind the headlines about some respiratory flu epidemic.

    June 11, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  92. Christopher - Hanover PA

    The young in this country have little hope, when there are few jobs, and if they're lucky enough to get one: it has no benefits and no retirement. What will this country be like 50 years down the road? I'm retired and certainly won't be here but my heart aches for my kids and grandkids! What a mess and the Republican House wants to make it even worse! How do those protecting the rich sleep at night?

    June 11, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  93. Peggy

    If the Supreme Court strikes down the current health care reform law, then we shall see the truth in action. There will be more and more people getting their care through the emergency room or being treated, in a manner that will result in the cost being picked up by the few that remain able to afford insurance.
    If the Court strkes down what has barely had a chance to begin working, things will be worse than ever. The truth that everyone with insurance is carrying the water for those that are unable to afford it, is just not getting through to the public.

    June 11, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  94. Linda in Arizona

    I wouldn't be too worried about that. If they stay away from the medical profession, they will probably be healthier. By the way, it seems there must be something good about so-called Obamacare, if young people can continue to be covered by their parents' policies until age 26. Maybe some of you shouldn't be so anxious to repeal it.

    June 11, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  95. Richard Pell

    The inability of many of our citizens, not just young people, to get very affordable health care is a national disgrace. Coupled with the high cost of education, we are well on our way of producing a third world like generation of future leaders. What a tragedy for my grandchildren.

    June 11, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  96. Greg in CINCINNATI

    What this means is that alot of people I know are going across the pond for their medical care needs. I can't say I blame them. What this country's sick needs now is for people to look outside of this country for their medical needs. They can get better care for half the price.

    June 11, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  97. Judi

    I'll tell you what it means Jack – it means they will be staying home with Mom & Dad even longer! I have a 26 year old and a 29 year – both with college degrees living at home because they can't get a job and can't afford to live on their own. They are working at low wage jobs (waiting tables, etc) and can only afford their car payments and student loan payments. My daughter is waiting tables with 6 others with college degrees – none of them with health care and can't afford to get sick. She is heading back to school to pursue another degree in nursing so hopefully she can get a job – this will be her 3rd degree (Assoc/Science, BSN in Nuclear Medicine Technology and now BSN Nursing). My husband's retired and we still have kids at home! This isn't the American Dream any of us dreamed about. Virginia Beach

    June 11, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  98. mike

    Jack this is why we should throw them all out it is a national sin before God the lack of concern when it comes to the Healthcare Problems facing this country. People complain and complain about Obamacare but does anyone really have a credible and viable alternative? It is a national disgrace !!!

    June 11, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  99. bill @ socal

    Just another cause and effect of Americans not trusting, not believing and not working together. Some of our demands can't keep up with the faliures to promote lower cost, equal pay, help for the uninsured and over burdened . Maybe funding for the poor is out of passion. Shame on all of us.

    June 11, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  100. Jerry Foster City, CA

    All the more reason why we need universal health care in this country. Sure it may not be a perfect system and those who live in countries that do have it complain about it but you can be sure they would not completely give it up either.

    June 11, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  101. Merv - Winnipeg Cannada

    Mr. Cafferty

    As long as your medical system continues to patronize your " for profit" insurance companies your health issues will increase exponentially, just like your medical costs. Health care is a necessity and a privilege (not just for the privileged)...not a commodity. Our "social health system" is not perfect but we are cared for without needing to sell the farm.

    June 11, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  102. Lindsay

    but then again, thanks to "ObamaCare", i can still stay on my parent's healthcare plan until i turn 26....

    June 11, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  103. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    It means that they will be less likely to become addicted to the presciption pain killers and psychotropic pharmaceuticals that hooked their parents. If that is the case then they should just fine.

    June 11, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  104. Marilyn - Indiana

    The young, educated, just out of college are gonna have to expect to start at the bottom. Work themselves up through a company (if they're lucky to land a job). God Bless if they're out there trying. Even with a college education, degree..you can't expect to start out at $100,000 a year.

    June 11, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  105. Jerry

    In the US, the cost of health care is driven by overuse as most citizens can go from doctor to doctor and demand more tests and drugs, huge regulation drive up costs and the unwillingness to address tort reform makes doctors overorder significantly. Healthcare reform did little to address this. Without reduced utilization, we cannot afford the cost of healthcare. The US spend over 50% more per capita, INCLUDING THE UNINSURED, and we have these issues. The government needs to tackle these over utilization issues. Bending the cost of increases is not acceptable.

    June 11, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  106. Paula

    Where has the "american Dream" become the responsiblityh of government? the individual has always beem the origin ogf and the developer oF THAT ELUSIVE AND CHANGING "DREAM". I DO NOT WANT THEOoBAMA administration to be the authoe and definer of my dreams!

    June 11, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  107. Cassandra Kane

    This is one of the reasons why gettin rid of Planned Patenthood would be devastating. Women generally seem to always get the short end of the stick so to speak when it comes to health care. Without places like Planned Parenthood, low-income women will be effected the most considering the rising cost of birth control, employers unwilling to offer insurance to cover family planning services, and the high cost of alternative office visits. insurance companies have proven greedy and have been draining their patients of their money; high co-payments, not covering all medical care, confusing policies, and limited coverage for specialists and many treatments.

    June 11, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  108. PJ Dominicis

    I am not at all surprised and I blame Republicans and the greedy healthcare lobby. It will only get worse and worse unless we socialize healthcare and fast. But I wouldn't hold my breath.

    Anything other than free healthcare for all is immoral in a "civilized society"… Period.

    June 11, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  109. Paul

    Here’s my question to you: Young people are forgoing medical care because of cost. What does that mean for the future?

    I graduated from high school in the early 80's. At the time of graduation I was employed with a company that I had co-opted with through high school. So, I already had medical insurance through my company.

    Many of my friends on the other hand, were now looking for employment for their first time and many of those ended up as waitresses, cooks, bar tenders, bar maids and construction workers. Many of these employers did not offer medical insurance and where they did many of these young people did elect to sign up for insurance because the cost was too high.

    The common thoughts and feelings at the time were, we are young strong and healthy so medical insurance is not a necessity. Of course we all know that life is a lottery. A few would end up needing to go to the doctor and have to pay for car out of their own pocket, or ask mom and dad for help or depend Doctor's who often have programs to waive the cost for a certain percentage of patients without insurance. This is ok when it is only minor medical care but, if one of these young people needs serious care due to an accident or cancer, the lack of medical insurance can be devastating.

    This phenomenon of young people forgoing insurance is not a new occurrence. It has gone on for many years and it is high time we have serious discussion on how to change the system for the better. However, making someone who cannot afford insurance be required by law to purchase insurance just does not make sense. Their must be a better way.

    My last request is that Obamacare has a number of features that go into affect over time and much of the public really has no idea of what they are and when they took affect or come into affect. Now might be a good time for CNN to remind our public what its core features are and when they go into effect.


    June 11, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  110. Dr. K. Danso, Livermore, California

    An African proverb from Ghana suggests that when you kill a snake you cut its head. President Obama was not in tune with this African wisdom and did not cut the head of the snake, in this case the Insurance companies.
    Health insurance is too valuable to leave in the hands of benevolent profit-making capitalists. It may not be too late but what the nation needs is a mandatory government-managed contributory deduction for every worker in America, at any age, just like Medicare, so that they will be guaranteed health care at regional and local hospitals to compete with the private health care programs. Then and then only would costs come down, and not the way it is set up now which has actually escalated costs due to the same greed

    June 11, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  111. Steve

    My kids are in their 40's never had health insurance becasuse it was too expensive. Their premiums would have been an average of 200 dollars a month for the last 20 years. They are all healthy. They saved 2400 dollars a year. That is $2400 times 20 years equals $48,000.
    With Obamacare , they would be forced to have health insurance or pay a penalty. Current projected cost would be $500 a month. That's is approximately $6000 a year.They are all healthy and are willing to gamble on their health. If they need a doctor they rather pay out of their pocket. Instead they have to pay not only for themselves but for those that can't afford it.

    Now tell me is Obamacare the answer for those kids in their late 20's and 30's that are healthy and are forced to pay $6000 a a year??

    June 11, 2012 at 5:52 pm |