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Increasing numbers of young people opposing Obamacare

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
December 5th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Under the laws of health care reform, young people who are healthy have the least to lose with buying health insurance. Their premiums are ostensibly supposed to be less expensive than those who are nearing retirement age. However - there is growing opposition on the part of young people, 30 years or younger, to Obamacare. A political conundrum, as these "young invincibles" - those less likely to fall ill are an essential part to health care reform's success.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The federal enrollment website HealthCare.gov does appear to be on the road to improvement. It has to be said, that despite their support for President Obama, younger people had been skeptical of the healthcare reform law even before its troubled roll-out. 

Problems facing HealthCare.gov, a site the administration initially touted as a "hip, tech-friendly experience" - have reinforced their doubts about the need to have health insurance at all.

"The trend is daunting for the White House but not necessarily surprising," Pew Research Center Director Michael Dimock says. "Younger folks are part of Obama's base ... but the roll-out confirmed concerns that were already in their minds."

More than half of 18 to 29-year-olds disapprove of ObamaCare and believe it will raise their healthcare costs, a poll released by Harvard University's Institute of Politics discovered. Far more troubling for the White House is the fact that less than one-third of uninsured young people said they plan to enroll in coverage.

Policymakers acknowledge that without a large number of young, healthy people in the insurance exchanges, it could create a "death spiral" of high premiums that could threaten the long-term viability of the marketplaces.

Acknowledging the growing threat, the Obama administration is making outreach to younger people a major focus of its ObamaCare relaunch.

Obama began the effort this week with a youth summit at the White House where he urged audience members to spread the word about the new healthcare exchanges. He also told them to think about their own health risks.

"Look, I do remember what it's like being 27 or 28, and aside from the occasional basketball injury, most of the time I kind of felt like I had nothing to worry about," Obama said. "Of course, that's what most people think until they have something to worry about. But at that point, oftentimes it's too late."

The president then touted the cost of insurance in the exchanges as "affordable" for young people, telling the summit that most health plans are less than a cable or cellphone bill.

The president will continue to court young people on with a visit to American University in Washington, D.C. this week.

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