- - Sunday, January 5, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

During the past couple of months, our society and the mainstream media have consistently talked about and focused on Miley Cyrus and her provocative “wrecking ball” charade. However, the real “wrecking ball” of 2013 was the policies of the Obama administration.

Families across the country are tightening their belts and adjusting their budgets just trying to make ends meet owing to President Obama’s failed economic policies. Obamacare is just one of many policies that are having real, job-crushing effects on the American economy. The many taxes and fees associated with the president’s signature health care law are outrageous and are causing the average family to scale back in order to provide health care for loved ones.

The White House touts the fact that young people can stay on their parents’ health care plan until age 26, but it neglects to mention that this is only if the parents plan hasn’t been canceled owing to the Obamacare implementation. As a result, many young people will be left without coverage or will choose to forgo it because they simply can’t afford it, especially if they’re healthy.

What about the biggest “wrecking ball” of all — the insurance tax, which took effect on Jan. 1? While there are many taxes and fees associated with Obamacare, this egregious tax directly targets small businesses and the individual markets, specifically those that cannot afford any more taxes. As a result, small-business owners will have to make difficult decisions about whether to let go of some of their employees or see their ability to hire new employees diminish. How much more can our small businesses, the backbone of our economy, take?

It wasn’t enough for Mr. Obama to lie to the American people when he told them that if they liked their health care plans they could keep them. He also lied when he said that Obamacare would lower premiums. Instead, premiums have increased through oppressive taxes and overhead costs, placing serious burdens on individuals and small businesses. Mr. Obama promoted his signature law by telling everyone that premiums would go down and that access to care would improve. Now the opposite seems to be true. The reality is that as of Jan. 1, many people now do not have health insurance as a result of canceled policies or the high cost of insurance on the health exchange. It is important to note that the new year rang in with more individuals losing coverage than those who enrolled in the Obamacare exchanges. The worst part is that premiums can still increase if more young people do not enroll in the exchange, because young people are supposed to subsidize the health care of the older generation.

Under this administration, young people are experiencing significant hardship. Many are graduating from college saddled with student-loan debt and are moving back into their parents’ home owing to the lack of employment opportunity. The fact is almost 6 million young people between the ages of 16 and 24 are not attending school or working and are simply idle, suggesting that many of them are just giving up on finding employment.

Young Americans have undoubtedly suffered under the leadership of Mr. Obama and are finally realizing that the federal government and its intrusiveness is not something they want in their daily lives. If given the opportunity, young people would choose to be independent, financially stable and employed. The harsh reality is that the young are fighting a losing battle to succeed on their own in one of the toughest job markets in the past century. Their faded Obama posters only remind them of their dashed dreams.

In a recent survey conducted for the Young America’s Foundation, more than 60 percent of college-age students reported they think that federal government should not take an active role in their day-to-day lives. Half of respondents said they think the government is mostly hurting economic recovery. Today’s young people are experiencing firsthand the failures of socialist policies, and they are eager for pro-freedom, limited-government solutions.

As the new year unfolds, let’s see what hope and change lies ahead. Americans are strong and resilient, but how much more can they handle? Here’s hoping for the kind of change that brings some much-needed relief from the unrelenting “wrecking ball” of the Obama administration.

Ashley Pratte is the program officer for public relations at Young America’s Foundation.

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