'Young Invincibles' Choosing Fine over Obamacare
The Obama administration is aggressively pursuing young, healthy adults to enroll in Obmacare ahead of the March 31 deadline.
Participation from the so-called "young invincibles," adults ages 19-24, is crucial to the program's success. But they don't appear to be on board with Obamacare.
Past enrollment data shows young people only made up about one-fourth of those who had signed up for the health care exchanges.
The White House has downplayed the lag, saying they're expecting invicibles to enroll toward the end of the six-month sign-up period. But as the March deadline approaches, there's a new sense of urgency.
"Tonight, I ask every American who knows someone without health insurance to help them get covered by March 31," President Barack Obama pleaded in his State of the Union address.
According to a poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, about 40 percent of those who enroll need to be young and healthy in order to balance the higher costs of insuring older, sicker people.
But many young people are opting out of the high cost they'll have to pay for coverage under the president's health care law.
"It's very expensive for them. On average we're seeing premiums will increase 169 percent across the board," Patrice Lee, manager of Generation Opportunity, explained.
"Young people are seeing that Obamacare is taking the young and healthy to pay for the sick and older Americans, and it's just not something that is fair. We're leveraging our future," she said.
As the White House waits for more young people to enroll, grassroots efforts pushing people to sign-up for the president's health care plan are popping up.
"We're trying to make sure it feels urgent all the time, and at least in our experience, enrollment has picked up a lot since Jan. 1," David Bransfield, a state outreach coordinator for the group Young Invincibles, said.
Workers and volunteers are now targeting the young invincibles by spreading out across the country, drawing on grassroots campaigning techniques the Obama Administration learned in the last two elections.
But so far, they're still short about one-third of the young and healthy enrollees that they need.
A recent Gallup poll found 26 percent of uninsured people under the age of 30 intended to pay the $95 fine rather than enroll in the president's health care plan.