Obamacare faces uphill battle with a key group
Only a quarter of young Americans are aware of the Affordable Care Act's insurance marketplaces. That's a big problem.
Obamacare is certainly facing skepticism from conservatives and some employers, but the law's biggest challenge might come from the one group it needs most: young Americans.
That's because only 27% of 19-to-29-year-olds are aware of the state health insurance marketplaces that will allow them to buy coverage starting in October, according to the Commonwealth Fund, which polled more than 1,800 young people from 2011 to 2013.
Participation of that group is essential for Obamacare to succeed, given that it needs a base of young, healthy participants to offset higher costs from older and sicker people.
"Clearly, outreach will be critical to ensure that young adults' awareness grows over time," the report notes.
Advocacy groups are boosting efforts to inform people of the health insurance exchanges, which will start enrolling people on Oct. 1. Enroll America, for instance, is making door-to-door visits and setting up at community events to get the word out, CNNMoney reports.
One of the biggest threats to enrolling young Americans, though, isn't lack of awareness but states that are rebelling against expanding Medicaid coverage, Commonwealth Fund notes.
While one of President Barack Obama's chief goals with the Affordable Care Act is to expand the rolls of Medicaid, so far 21 states are sitting out the effort. Those include some of the country's most populous, such as Texas, Florida and Georgia. That means poor, uninsured young adults in those states will be excluded from health care insurance through the Medicaid expansion provisions of the ACA.
The Obama administration wants to enroll 7 million people through the exchanges next year and is aiming for 2.7 million of those to be young and healthy, according to a July report in The Huffington Post.
Not only young people are unaware of or confused by the overhaul. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation study earlier this year, 42% of Americans didn't know the overhaul is still being carried out.
Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.
This is the target group that was put down by His Messiahship as "gamers to the health system".
Can't wait for this shoe to drop when all the members of this segment who voted for reelection FINALLY get the message (by being hit in the pocket) that by needlessly enrolling in ACA they are subsidizing the old and infirm (remember: a happy altruist is a poor altruist!).
Young, healthy folks that didn't need medical insurance; get ready to gnash your teeth and PAY for your decisions/actions/inactions.
Obamacare took a system that worked for 90% of the American people and ruined it so it wouldn't work for anyone. I know there are abuses and insurance company cherry picking, but you don't need to cut off someone's head to cure pink eye.
I believe when the American people see the cost and results of this program, the liberal/socialist element in this country will be out of vogue for many years to come. Sometimes you just have to fail in order to learn. Let's hope we're smart enough to learn.
"Participation of that group is essential for Obamacare to succeed, given that it needs a base of young, healthy participants to offset higher costs from older and sicker people." = We will screw the 19 to 29 year olds to make them pay the cost of Obama-Care.
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