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.

By Aimee Picchi Aug 21, 2013 1:16PM

Reflections and Dreams (© Uygar Ozel, Vetta, Getty Images)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

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Aug 21, 2013 1:31PM

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. 

Aug 21, 2013 2:01PM
So far the elderly, the young and unions have all said they hate Obamacare.  Working Americans never liked it and Conservatives always hated it.  The only people who like it are the leftist elites that have turned Martha's Vineyard into a sterile wasteland of hypocrisy.
Aug 21, 2013 1:58PM


Aug 21, 2013 1:41PM
Yeah, these are the suckers, errr people needed most.  Someone to pay premiums so that others may leech off them.  

Better to ignore the plans.  And if you do sign up, make sure you use more than what you pay for.
Otherwise they will just take your hard earned money and give to someone else.

Let the imbecile democrats sign up for this....
Aug 21, 2013 2:02PM
Obamacare is another lie that the President and Democrats want us to believe.
Aug 21, 2013 1:51PM
This whole thing is a scam.  Obama will regret having his name attached to it.  
Aug 21, 2013 1:51PM
obamacare...the disaster tax....not really a tax...oh yes it is.... has a plethora of huge issues.  This is the least of the problems!
Aug 21, 2013 2:13PM
Americans voted this guy into office.  I hope they learned their lesson. But I doubt it. The young and the lazy voted him in, so they are getting their just dues.
Aug 21, 2013 2:24PM

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.

Aug 21, 2013 2:05PM
You bare going to try to make this group of kids who almost never need a doctor, that they should pay $200-to $300 a month for insurance?
Good luck with that, it will be fun to watch, it will be like herding cats.
The people responsible for this farce, are going to watch the price go up to where they can't afford it.
Good luck dem handouters, we are going to make sure that the government does not bail you out.

Aug 21, 2013 2:09PM
Bwahaha these are the real losers in Obamacare, young and invincibles.  

Young people, you are the suckers of this law.  Here is how you know:

 " participation of this group is essential for Obamacare to succeed, given it needs a base of young, healthy participants to offset higher costs from older and sicker consumers."  

How happy are you that you are subsidizing this law?  The individual mandate?  That part of the law is for you.  
Aug 21, 2013 2:01PM
Why would the young sign-up,their covered under the parents medical ?
Aug 21, 2013 2:22PM
Her's some more interesting news for you. I heard this from the employees mouth, several that is. That on January 1st 2014 when Obamacare takes effect a corporation  that is in the extended stay hotel business in the US and Canada. will be cutting all employee hours except managers or above to 28 hours a week so they do not have to pay for employee health care costs. Obama said in some news report or speech some where this would not happen. What a naive President or a big liar. You decide. Oh, all the full time employees that are going to be cut to all part time employees won't be getting a raise to help with costs either.
Aug 21, 2013 2:33PM
Attention - We need some 19 to 29 year olds to pay big premiums to fund Obama-Care! No, not you.....you get your health insurance for free via Medicaid. No, not you.....you get most of your premiums paid for via Obama-Care tax credit subsidies. No not you.....your still on Mommy's insurance until you turn 26.  Yeah, you....your premiums are doubled. Thank you for working hard and being mature. Sorry that we are screwing you. There is just not enough of you all. Do you know where another mature, hard working, prosperous person is? No,....me neither. It seems that we have built our house on sinking sand!
Aug 21, 2013 2:36PM
Our pathetic excuse of a president is attempting to bankrupt the nation.  He needs to be out of office and in prison for war crimes IMMEDIATELY before he does more damage than he's already done.  And yes...I realize that Obummer is only a mere puppet for those elitists that pull his strings.
Aug 21, 2013 2:42PM
wait until the younger people realize they have to pay for it... so many thought it would be free r handed out by their employer for basically nothing.  I can almost hear the screaming now as they are forced to buy something they dont want or need and have to pay for it out of their pockets..  then the other shoe drops as their hours are cut down at their work to get around the employer mandate... oh and then the cost of the insurance doubles...  We all need to call our senators and demand the law is repealed and something that actually deals with the costs of services as well as the insane lawsuits is done before infringing o my rights to buy what I want or need that fits my life and not what the government thinks will be good for me
Aug 21, 2013 2:39PM
When those so far ignorant young find out about the mandate and the penalties, many of them will simpy pay the penalty because all coverage will cost more for them.  PPACA was predicated on so many false assumptions it deserves to fail epically.  Too bad that so many people will be hurt financially, emotionally and medically.
Aug 21, 2013 2:37PM

"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.

Aug 21, 2013 2:27PM
Barry, I think this Obama-Care Insurance thing could be in trouble if we are banking on the 19 to 29 year olds (except for the ones that are still on Mommy's insurance until they turn 26 and except for the ones that are getting their health insurance premiums paid for them by a working, tax paying man) to help us out by paying extra premiums into the fund to sponsor the healthcare cost of the older generations. What were you thinking?......not thinking?
Aug 21, 2013 3:04PM
I'm 23 and gross $2650 / month ( net $1775 after fed,, state, city, medicare, and SS taxes ); the federal site estimates that my premium next year will be $251/month with a 30% copay and out of pocket max of $6350 and a tax credit of "up to" $178....BUT, no where can I find out what is or IS NOT covered (drugs, dental, eye classes, PT, etc. ?) - other than my Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo ! Based on this year I'm projecting costs would be $340-350/month - about 20% of my take home. Sorry, but this is not something I'm ready to do.
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