Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, December 4, 2013
Even Millennials aren’t eagerly anticipating the January 1 start date for Obamacare, with a whopping 57 percent of them disapproving of the groundbreaking healthcare law according to a new study released by the Harvard Institute for Politics Wednesday.
Moreover, it doesn’t matter to them whether the law is referred to as the “Affordable Care Act” or the more common “Obamacare,” as young adults equally disapprove of the law either way.
The poll, which is part of a 13-year study on the attitudes of young adults in the United States, determined that Millennials are also extremely worried about the level of coverage they’ll receive and the costs of that coverage come the new year. Four in ten young adults see their quality of healthcare getting worse, compared to just 18 percent of young adults who think the quality of healthcare they will receive in 2014 will be better than it is now. In addition, half of all survey respondents see their health insurance costs rising in the new year thanks to the new law – which is arguably the last thing many want to hear as they struggle to pay for other bills like rent and car insurance.
“We found that Millennials are unlikely to buy something, invest in something, to vote for something from people and from things they don’t necessarily trust and that’s a serious concern today,” Harvard Institute of Politics Polling Director John Della Volpe said in a conference call for reporters Wednesday.
It doesn’t look like many Millennials who currently lack insurance are likely to sign up for coverage from the healthcare exchanges, either. Just 13 percent of survey respondents without health insurance (22 percent of the total sample) will definitely enroll in the program, while only an additional 16 percent reported that they will probably sign up.
Della Volpe believes it has something to do with both the negative coverage the law’s received in the media over the past few months and the fact that Millennials don’t like hearing that the solvency of the Affordable Care Act is dependent on how many young Americans sign up for coverage.
“There’s been a lot of stories in the media about how we need more young people to sign up because we need them … to sign up to subsidize the people who maybe aren’t in as good of health,” he told reporters. “It could be that young folks are paying attention to these stories and that’s where they’re drawing some of their conclusions about whether the Affordable Care Act is in their best interest.”
And Republicans have counted on young people opting out of the law for that reason to help turn the demographic against the president and his signature legislative policy in the hopes of winning big in 2014.
“Obama has increased Millennials insurance premiums and lied to them about keeping their coverage. Young Americans aren’t daft, they know a bad deal when they see one,” Raffi Williams, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, told Red Alert Politics in an email.
Other key findings from the study include the facts that Millennials are no longer in love with the presidentthe way they were in 2008, that they’re extremely worried about their future and disillusioned with the American political system and that they’re becoming increasingly independent in their political beliefs.
The Harvard University Institute of Politics conducted a study of 2,089 adults in both English and Spanish between the ages of 18-29 years old from October 30-November 11, 2013. The margin of error for the study is +/- 2.1 percent at a 95 percent margin of error.