Obama and Obamacare Losing Favor With Millennials
By Dr. James Palermo // December 5, 2013
HARVARD POLL: FEW UNINSURED YOUNG PEOPLE LIKELY TO ENROLL IN ACA
ABOVE VIDEO: PBS NewsHour features John Deel Volpe of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University discussing the results of a new poll of Americans aged 18-29, which revealed a “solid majority” of young people disapprove of the Affordable Care Act. Of those without health care coverage, only 29 percent said they were likely to enroll in the insurance exchanges.
One of the major lynchpins to the success of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka Obamacare) is buy-in by the Millennial generation. In order to keep costs down, the ACA relies on younger, healthier people buying healthcare coverage on the exchange marketplace to offset the costs for older, sicker Americans.
The White House has estimated that it needs 40 percent of Obamacare enrollees to be under 35 years old to ensure the projected economic formula works. However, recent ACA enrollment estimates reveal young people have not been signing up for health insurance, raising concern over the marketplace’s financial viability. The results of a recent Harvard University Institute of Politics poll shows just 29 percent of uninsured 18-to-29-year olds say they will definitely or likely enroll in the Obamacare exchanges.
ACA HIGHER COST, LOWER QUALITY A CONCERN WITH MILLENNIALS
According to the Harvard poll, which was conducted from October 30 – November 11, 2013 and included 2,089 young adults between 18 and 29 years old, 57 percent of survey participants disapprove of Obamacare, with 40 percent saying that the quality of healthcare is likely to deteriorate and a majority believe it will drive up costs. Only 18 percent say Obamacare will improve their care.
MILLENIALS’ DISILLUSION WITH OBAMA GOES BEYOND OBAMACARE
The Harvard report also shows that President Obama’s opinion polling woes with Millennials goes well beyond his signature legislation. As the reality of the ramifications of the ACA provisions become increasingly clear with the administration’s rocky roll-out, other issues like the disaster in Benghazi, the IRS conservative targeting scandal, the federal government collecting personal electronic communication for national security benefits, and a stalled economy are taking their toll on the President’s previous popularity with young people.
Fifty-four percent of those surveyed disapproved of Obama’s job performance, compared with 41 percent who approve, representing an 11-point drop from Harvard’s survey in spring 2013, and almost the opposite of its fall 2009 poll, when 58 percent of young people approved and 39 percent disapproved. This age demographic helped elect the President in 2008 and 2012 with 55 percent of those polled saying they voted for Obama in 2012, but only 46 percent indicating they would vote for him again.
NEAR MAJORITY OF MILLENIALS SUPPORT RECALL OF CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT
Perhaps the finding that will have the most impact on America’s political landscape as we move into the mid-term election year of 2014 is that less than one-in-five (14 percent) young Americans in the Harvard poll indicate that the country is headed in the right direction, 49 percent believe its headed in the wrong direction, while 34 percent are not sure, and a near majority support recalling both the President and the Congress.