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There are a lot of uphill battles for Republicans and their astroturfing funders between now and their ultimate goal of the death of Obamacare. Take the burn your fake Obamcare card campaign, in which FreedomWorks and allied groups are trying to convince young people to forego the potentially life-saving convenience of having health insurance. Because Freedom!

The idea they have is that by keeping younger, healthier people out of the health insurance exchanges, the new system will collapse as insurers have to take on a sicker population, and won't have the premiums from young people to cover them. But, according to a new study from the Commonwealth Fund, it doesn't seem like their big plan is going to work.

"Contrary to commonly held beliefs, young adults do want affordable health coverage," said Dr. David Blumenthal, president of the nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund. The group's study dispels the notion that young adults don't think they need coverage because they feel invincible, said lead author Sara Collins.

Up to 82 percent of nearly 16 million uninsured young U.S. adults would qualify for federal subsidies or Medicaid under Obamacare, meaning that affordability is less likely to impede enrollment in health insurance via state exchanges, the study concludes. Those ages 19 to 29 will eventually enroll in large numbers, it predicts, without specifying how many years it could take.

That optimistic conclusion comes from what young adults do when offered an opportunity to buy health insurance through their jobs. In such cases, 67 percent took the coverage.

For those who declined, the chief reasons were that they were covered by a family member (54 percent) or couldn't afford the premiums (22 percent). Only 5 percent turned down coverage because they felt they were unlikely to need much medical care.

"Price is the biggest hurdle," to young people getting insurance, says Aaron Smith, co-founder of Young Invincibles, based on the research they've done. That's a non-profit that does education and conducts public policy research on issues affecting the young adults. It's not just research and public surveys that suggest this outcome, though. There's the experience of Massachusetts, where the uninsured rate among 19-to-26-year olds decreased from 21 percent to 8 percent after Romneycare kicked in.

Young people are more likely to not sign up because they aren't aware that it's an option than because of any personal or political conviction against having health insurance, according to another Commonwealth poll, which found that "only 27 percent of the 19-to-29-year olds were aware of the state health insurance marketplaces." So, actually, FreedomWorks might be doing Obamacare a big favor by reaching out to this cohort and letting them know that they're being offered health insurance. Otherwise, they might not have heard about it.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 01:46 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (32+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 01:46:54 PM PDT

  •  I hope Sebelius will be working with Universities (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, ItsSimpleSimon, thomask

    and Student Unions come the start of the school year - it shouldn't be much of a fight to get both on board to inform students about the ACA and what it means for them without any of the GOP misinformation and scaremongering.  

    If you're not talking about what billionaire hedgefund bankster Peter G. Peterson is up to you're having the wrong conversations.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 02:13:59 PM PDT

    •  that could be self limiting what with the 26-yr (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nextstep, ItsSimpleSimon

      extension of parental coverage

      Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

      by annieli on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 02:22:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  When my kids were in college, they were (0+ / 0-)

      required to either enroll in the health care plan offered by the college or prove they had coverage elsewhere.  Is that still the case?  If there are college plans plus the option of staying on a parent plan until age 26, the target age group might be a little older.

      “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day.” Gloria Steinem

      by ahumbleopinion on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 04:19:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some of the college plans are junk coverage (0+ / 0-)

        that does not (or should not) meet the federal requirement. I had it a few years ago, and ended up with about $8,000 in unpaid bills because of absurdly low benefits for outpatient surgery.

    •  Job opportunity (0+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      Hidden by:

      Job opportunity for everyone!!! Work from comfort of your home,on your computer and you can work with your own working hours. You can work this job as a part time or as a full time job. You can earn from 70$ an hour to 950$ a day!!! There is no limitations, it all depends from you and how much you want to earn each day. Get more info here>>>>

  •  "Price is the biggest hurdle" more a steeple chase (0+ / 0-)
    So, actually, FreedomWorks might be doing Obamacare a big favor by reaching out to this cohort and letting them know that they're being offered health insurance. Otherwise, they might not have heard about it.
    although no incontestable logical deduction may be possible of specific price magnitudes from specific value magnitudes, even within a complex model (in contrast to a probabilistic prediction), even a "93% Ricardian theory" of labour-value appears to be a better empirical predictor of price than its rivals.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 02:15:08 PM PDT

    •  You lost me. Sorry. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      We are all in this together.

      by htowngenie on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 02:22:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  price is not necessarily the prime element since (0+ / 0-)

        coverage by parents for some has been extended to the age of 26 for example

        Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

        by annieli on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 02:25:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  See my answer to your comment above. (0+ / 0-)

          Are you commenting in support of ACA or agin it?  I can't tell because what you are saying isn't logical.  Of course price is not  the prime element for a 24 year old who is on his parents policy and they foot the bill.  It might concern his parents though if they found out the young adult could get covered for less premium outlay on the exchanges.  

          Regardless, the young person who gets to extend coverage to 26 is one more young person who helps spread the risk and is therefore beneficial to making the ACA work.

          We are all in this together.

          by htowngenie on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 02:35:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  trying to convince young people... (4+ / 0-) not get health insurance so the system will crash is perhaps the most disgusting and demented thing I have ever seen in politics. it's truly evil and shameful and wildly anti-American, in that they want the USA to crumble if they don't get their way all the time. sick.

    "An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war." -Mark Twain

    by humanistique on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 02:39:39 PM PDT

  •  low costs, huh? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Dead Man, Sparhawk

    A Limit on Consumer Costs Is Delayed in Health Care Law

    ...the administration has delayed until 2015 a significant consumer protection in the law that limits how much people may have to spend on their own health care.

    The limit on out-of-pocket costs, including deductibles and co-payments, was not supposed to exceed $6,350 for an individual and $12,700 for a family. But under a little-noticed ruling, federal officials have granted a one-year grace period to some insurers, allowing them to set higher limits, or no limit at all on some costs, in 2014.

    The grace period has been outlined on the Labor Department’s Web site since February, but was obscured in a maze of legal and bureaucratic language that went largely unnoticed. When asked in recent days about the language — which appeared as an answer to one of 137 “frequently asked questions about Affordable Care Act implementation” — department officials confirmed the policy.

    One can be excused for wondering when, if ever, any of these regulations that are supposed to make this law so awesome and amazing and give consumers affordable health coverage (not actual health care, just coverage), will ever actually be enforced.

    The employer mandate which is supposed to ensure that employer-based insurance continues to be available to those who have it has been delayed; the community health care centers that were the price of Bernie Sanders' support have been defunded as part of the "fiscal cliff" negotiations. And on and on, and on and on and on.

    Death by a thousand cuts, combined with another thousand little bureaucratic changes by the WH that add up to a drastically different law from the one that was sold to the American people.

    But all we hear is people constantly trumpeting from the rooftops about how this amazing and incredible law will, in theory, provide people affordable health insurance.

    I mean, theoretically the Underpants Gnomes in South Park had a plan to turn underpants into pure profit, but in practice, the situation was quite different.

    And in practice, it's far from clear that the ACA will do anything near what its supporters claim it will.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 02:44:23 PM PDT

  •  Good, it will help my niece & nephew (0+ / 0-)

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 04:18:01 PM PDT

  •  So... (0+ / 0-)

    ...Republicans want to make it hard for younger people to vote while, at the same time, trying to encourage them to go along with their sabotage plan?

    Hubris and its most brazen.

    “I believe all Southern liberals come from the same starting point--race. Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything.” ― Molly Ivins

    by RoIn on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 04:59:13 PM PDT

  •  Americans are getting sicker (0+ / 0-)

    so it stands to reason more young people are getting sicker. so it also stands to reason they might be a little less 'invincible' than everyone is assuming.
    The fact that this stands to reason likely explains why Republicans are completely missing it.
    Obesity, diabetes, these things bring symptoms that aren't any fun; even those goofy kids realize that when it hurts, you go to the doctor, and doctors are expensive. And for more and more of them, something hurts.

    Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

    by kamarvt on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:27:31 PM PDT

  •  One word: women (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chas 981, Sherri in TX

    All this talk about "young invincibles" ignores a major demographic.

    Women are as healthy as men at various ages, but they need health care sooner and more often because of issues related to reproductive health.

    It is hard for me to imagine even one eligible woman rejecting health care insurance.

    I'm from Johnson City.

    by Al Fondy on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:34:22 PM PDT

  •  most young people know friends with cancer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sherri in TX

    friends injured in horrible accidents etc. You be surprised, but most experience this when they are very young. So they know that sharing the risks is the way to go. Not difficulty to understand. The "let them die" fraction in this country is very small.

  •  Price is a key reason for all of us uninsured (0+ / 0-)

    I'm still waiting to see what the ACA coverage will cost me when subsidies are taken into account -- the raw premiums just announced here are higher even than what I have available now, thanks to the age-rating. The lowest bare-bones catastrophic policy would cost $450, and they go up from there up to $900. A month.

    But I did one online calculator that said the subsidy should bring my actual cost down to around $125 a month. That I can do. So I'll be interested in seeing if that's really what it looks like come Oct. 1.

    It shouldn't take Paul Krugman to figure out that price is a major barrier for most people to buy insurance -- that's what classic supply-demand theory would say. What's amazing to me is how many people feel they absolutely must have insurance, and will pay whatever it costs, even if they can't pay their other bills.

  •  Hell, price is the biggest hurdle for anyone (0+ / 0-)

    buying it.

  •  I'm stunned (0+ / 0-)
    "Contrary to commonly held beliefs, young adults do want affordable health coverage,"
    Really?  Who would have ever thought?


    I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

    by mojo11 on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 06:29:21 AM PDT

  •  "Young invincibles" is a revolting phrase (0+ / 0-)

    Young people get injured.  They get sick.  They even get terrible sicknesses that most people don't think of in the young, like diabetes and cancer.

    Many young people want health insurance, but as the Millenial generation gets older, increasing numbers of people are now 26 or over and have aged out of their parents' policies.

    Many are still unemployed, or severely underemployed.  Hopefully they will be able to qualify for Medicaid under Obamacare.

    But the long-term, genuinely just solution to all of this is to cover everyone in the country on Medicare, regardless of age.

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