For Obamacare to work, it needs young adults. A new Gallup poll serves as a useful reminder that young adults need Obamacare too.
Nearly one in four 18-to-25-year-olds lack health care coverage, according to the poll, released Thursday. That’s the highest rate since late 2011. But it's still lower than the share that lacked health insurance before an Obamacare provision kicked in in March 2010, allowing Americans to stay on their parents' health insurance until they are 26.
These uninsured young adults now face a choice between signing up for Obamacare and paying a monthly fee for health care coverage, or risk going without health insurance and pay a fine that in some cases could be less costly than the coverage. The deadline to sign up is March 31, 2014.
White House officials believe that this group needs to sign up for Obamacare in order for the program to be successful, according to the Washington Post. Without them, the health care exchanges will instead fill up with the other kinds of people that typically lack coverage -- older or more sickly patients who are often denied insurance because their needs are so expensive.
If that happens, premiums for those using the exchanges, a core part of Obamacare, will soar to sky high levels. And if that happens, the law could fail, some experts say.
Even before the launch of the now infamous HealthCare.gov, Obamacare was a tough sell for young people, precisely for the reasons that the program needs them. Spry 20-somethings typically don’t require much in terms of care, so it may be hard to convince them it’s more cost effective to pay potentially hundreds of dollars a month for a service they may not need instead of just paying a fine.
Of course Obamacare supporters will try. Oh boy, will they try:
But there are probably more compelling reasons than potential lost beer money to sign up. For one, most Americans under the age of 25 will probably qualify for health care subsidies through the law, making coverage relatively cheap, according to an op-ed by Matthew Segal, the head of Our Time, a young adult advocacy group.
In addition, one of the main purposes of health care coverage is to help people avoid the crippling debt that can come from unexpected medical issues.
Like falling during a keg stand for example.