Bill Clinton: Obamacare ‘Only Works’ If ‘Young People Show Up’ and Buy Insurance

On Tuesday, former President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama sat down for a discussion about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. In the talk at the Clinton Global Initiative, Obama and Clinton dug into the “open enrollment” period beginning October 1st. Clinton noted that the ACA “only works” if health care costs are pooled and a healthy young people purchase health insurance.

“I think it’s important for you to tell the people why we’re doing all this outreach,” Clinton said to Obama. “Because this only works, for example, if young people show up and even if they buy the cheapest plan, they claim their tax credit so it won’t cost them much — 100 bucks a month or so.”

“We’ve got to have them in the pools,” Clinton continued, “because otherwise these projected low costs cannot be held if older people with preexisting conditions are disproportionately represented in any given state.”

“You’ve got to have everybody lined up,” he added.

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“What happens is, if you don’t have pools that are a cross-section of society, then people who are already sick or more likely to get sick, they’ll all rush out and buy insurance,” Obama agreed. “People who are healthy, they say, ‘You know what, I won’t bother.’ And you get what’s called adverse selection.”

The president said that this is the reason why pooling costs is effective. “That’s why big companies have an easier time getting good rates for their employees than small companies,” he emphasized.

Obama said that young people can begin shopping for health insurance online on October 1.

Watch the clip below via MSNBC:

[Photo via screen grab ]

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