Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, November 18, 2013
Young Americans are starting to turn against their one-time savior, President Barack Obama, as a result of their fears and doubts over the implementation of his Affordable Care Act.
According to a Fox News poll released last week, 63 percent of Americans under the age of 35 disapprove of the president’s handling of healthcare in the United States. A Quinnipiac University poll released last week also found that a majority of Millennials – 56 percent – disapprove of the president’s handling of healthcare.
Millennials are also beginning to doubt the president’s ability to lead the nation. Fox News‘ poll found that just 42 percent of Americans under the age of 35 would rate his leadership skills as excellent or good, while 50 percent of them believe he spends too much time blaming others and not taking responsibility for his personal statements. Quinnipiac’s poll even found that a small majority of young Americans trust Congressional Republicans more when it comes to healthcare policy than the president.
The change in sentiment is a direct reflection on his broken 2009 promise, where he said “If you like your plan, you can keep it.” While Obama attempted to follow through with that sentiment at a press conference last week, announcing that he will allow Americans to keep their current healthcare plans for an extra year, for many it’s too little, too late.
Despite the fact that the financial success of the healthcare exchanges depends heavily on younger Americanssigning up for the plans, very few have already done so. In fact, the average age for enrollees at many state-based healthcare exchanges is in the 40s or 50s, Americans who are more likely to need healthcare and thus drain the resources in the exchanges.
The Obama Administration and many Congressional Democrats have attempted to justify the low numbers by attributing the blame to other factors, including the technological problems affecting the Healthcare.gov portal used for sign ups and the fact that Millennials often wait until the last minute to do things. Those cover ups, however, can only last so long and the longer Millennials go without signing up for the healthcare exchanges, the higher the premiums become for those already enrolled in the program. According to The Associated Press, Americans have until December 15 to sign up for the healthcare exchanges if they want to be covered on January 1.
The Administration and several states have created multi-million dollar campaigns in the hopes of luring adults under the age of 35 – often called “young invincibles” – to little success. Among the most famous are Colorado’s“brosurance” ads and Funny or Die’s web videos.
The first batch of enrollment numbers, which were released last week, show that just 107,000 Americans have enrolled in the healthcare exchanges – a far cry from the 500,000 Americans the Administration anticipated. Because demographic breaks weren’t released, there is no tangible way to determine if the various campaigns for young invincibles are working.
“We are making an extra push to reach young adults, and we do expect they’re going to take a lot of encouraging because they tend to wait until the last minute,” Myung Kim, a spokeswoman for Colorado’s exchange, told the AP.
Young Americans once trusted President Obama to give them “hope” and “change” for a better future. They even stood by his side in 2012, despite the fact that he did little to make their lives better after the 2008 recession. The Affordable Care Act appears to be the impetus that has finally turned them against the president; unfortunately, it just came one year too late.
This piece has been updated.