December 5 2013

Youth Bailing Out Part II: Millennials Reject ObamaCare

Patrice J. Lee

Earlier this week we reported that young people may be tuning out on ObamaCare. New data suggests even more dire news about the perceptions of ObamaCare and the President.

As we report today, the majority of Millennials disapprove of the job the President is doing and would oust in him a presidential recall election.

His signature healthcare reform bill is a key driver in his failure in the eyes of young people, with a solid majority disapproving of ObamaCare. They know it will be bad for them, as majorities of this demographic have come to believe that their healthcare costs will rise and the quality of their care will decline. It looks like Millennials aren’t convinced by the “Got Insurance?” ads or the parade of celebrities Enroll America has trotted out to sell them on ObamaCare.

A report from Harvard University’s Institute for Politics explains more:

Most significantly, when young Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 were asked if they approve or disapprove of the comprehensive health reform package that the president signed into law in 2010, a solid majority disapproved. When the law was referred to as the Affordable Care Act, 39 percent of young Americans under 30 approved, 56 percent disapproved; and when the law was referred to as Obamacare, the numbers were nearly identical with 38 percent citing approval and 57 percent citing that they disapproved…

For young Americans who report that they are uninsured, support for Obamacare is 35 percent; approval is nine points higher (44%) when the law is referred to as the Affordable Care Act.

So the next question, based on this data, is whether  young people enroll in Obamacare? The answer should cause the White House real concern.

Regardless of the term used in describing the federal health reform package, less than one-in-four (20% with use of Affordable Care Act and 22% with use of Obamacare) young Americans under the age of 30 report that they would definitely or probably enroll in insurance through an exchange if and when they are eligible. Forty-seven percent (47%) tell us that they will probably not or definitely not enroll under the ACA program, 45 percent say the same under Obamacare.


One of the most telling predictors of likelihood to enroll is political affiliation. Less than ten percent of Republicans plan to enroll in an exchange, less than 20 percent of Independents -- and between 35 and 40 percent of Democrats, depending on the name associated with the law. Obamacare proves to be five percent (40% definitely or probably enroll) more beneficial when Democrats are considering enrollment compared to the Affordable Care Act (35% definitely or probably enroll).

The Administration is afraid. Yesterday, it summoned over a hundred young leaders to the White House for a Youth Summit at which they were asked to spread the word about ObamaCare to their peers. During his pep talk the President claimed tried to allay costs concerns by claiming that most health plans are less than a cable or cell phone bill. But is a pep talk to a few hundred youths enough to move to action 2.7 million young people – the magic number of healthy 18-35 year olds need to make ObamaCare work? I doubt it.

Experts aren’t convinced either:

During a speech earlier on Wednesday on the economy, Obama downplayed the importance of polls, while highlighting that more than 3 million young Americans under the age of 26 have been able to stay on their parents' plan as a result of the law and hundreds of thousands of Americans--including many who have never had health insurance--are poised to be signed up for coverage by Jan. 1.

"It is these numbers -- not the ones in any poll -- that will ultimately determine the fate of this law," Obama said.

John Della Volpe, polling director at the Harvard Institute of Politics, however said that it's "absolutely the case" that Obama has not been effective in communicating to young Americans about his health law.

"There are very few aspects of the health care initiative that they approve of," Della Volpe said.

Let’s just address the President’s claim that several million young Americans have stayed on their parent’s plan. While that number sounds high, I wouldn’t put too much weight on it. As Americans see the costs of the family plans rise because of ObamaCare-prompted changes, they may elect not to keep their “adult children” on their plans.

What he doesn’t address are the colleges and universities that are eliminating the basic healthcare plans because they can’t afford the rise in costs due to new ObamaCare requirements. Those students now find themselves out in the cold.

The botched rollout of ObamaCare has probably done much to damage the view of ObamaCare and the President in the eyes of young people. Perhaps they are asking where the trademark tech savvy of the Obama campaign disappeared to. However, even if the error-riddled website begins to perform as well and efficiently as Amazon, young people recognize the fundamental problems with ObamaCare.

ObamaCare represents a transfer of resources from young people to older Americans; the law prohibits insurers from charging older patients more than three times what they charge younger ones. Young people are forced to pay more in costs to cover the services of older and sicker Americans. It’s a pyramid scheme, and the administration hopes young people are dumb enough to fall for it.

These Harvard poll numbers suggest that Millennials are smarter than the President and ObamaCare advocates think we are. We aren’t falling for ObamaCare supporters Amy Poehler’s jokes or Jennifer Hudson’s crooning. Neither do we like the disrespectful “Got Insurance?” ads that paint women and men in this generation as shallow, slutty, bing-drinking  idiots.

The Hill reports that we can expect a “major ad campaign” for Obamacare targeted at young people this month. We’ll see what tricks they turn to next.

 

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