Tuesday, December 03, 2013

The Skeptical Generation

Unfamiliarity breeds contempt:
A new Gallup poll shows that Americans age 18-29 are less familiar with the federal health-care law than any other age group. While 63 percent say they are familiar with the law, that's nine to 12 percentage points lower than older demographics. An August Kaiser Family Foundation poll, meanwhile, showed that 43 percent of Americans age 18-25 and 41 percent of those between 26 and 35 had heard nothing about their new state insurance exchanges. By comparison, just 33 percent of all adults said the same thing.
Why does the lag matter? In short, because Obama needs a lot of young, healthy people to enroll in plans offered through the exchanges in order to keep premiums down and make the system work as it was designed. Specifically, he needs about 40 percent of enrollees to be younger than 35. (Sarah Kliff gives you everything you need to know about these so-called "young invincibles" over on Wonkblog.)
It certainly doesn't help the president that young people seem to be the least attuned to the new law. What's more, early problems with the federal health-care exchange Web site didn't make it an easier for the administration to woo the young people it badly needs to sign up for coverage.
If you're young and healthy, you might well wonder why you should sign up. It certainly hasn't worked out for the older folks.

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