By Christopher Weaver and Louise Radnofsky | The Wall Street Journal
PORTLAND, Ore.—The success of the new health-care law rides in large measure on whether young, healthy people like Gabe Meiffren, a cook at a Korean-Hawaiian food cart, decide to give up a chunk of disposable income to pay for insurance.
After getting a peek at rates being offered for fall, the 25-year-old man said he would have to peel back “expenses that aren’t life or death, like records and concert tickets,” or whiskey sours at the Horse Brass Pub down the street.
Mr. Meiffren, who hasn’t seen a doctor in more than a year, isn’t sure buying insurance is worth it, despite a federal penalty for failing to buy coverage, starting in January.
President Barack Obama’s signature initiative rests on what Mr. Meiffren and his peers choose. If flocks of relatively healthy 20- and 30-somethings buy coverage, their insurance premiums will help offset the costs of newly insured older or sicker people who need more care. If they don’t, prices across the U.S. could spike.
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