While four in 10 of the uninsured of all ages support the 2010 law, according to the poll, the result indicated half of those 18 through 34 do so. Among the younger respondents, a little more than one-third have attempted to buy health insurance in the past, suggesting pent-up demand for the insurance plans to be sold through online exchanges in each state beginning October 1.But affordability is going to be key, as the previous Commonwealth Fund survey found. Detailed interviews with 51 of the respondents Reuters conducted for their survey confirms it.
One-third of young adults in the poll said they are "very" or "somewhat" likely to buy insurance through their state's exchange.
If half of that proportion of the nation's young and healthy follow through, the White House would easily meet its goal of getting 2.7 million young adults—out of about 16 million uninsured 19-to-29-year-olds—to buy Obamacare insurance for 2014.
Ira Barth, 24, of Dover, New Jersey, a classical music singer and special needs caretaker, last had insurance in June 2012. He isn't sure if he will buy insurance on New Jersey's exchange: "I want to see how affordable it is. If it's going to be more expensive than paying for one or two doctor visits a year, I don't know if I'll sign on for it." [...]By the way, since they qualify for food stamps, it's possible McIntyre's family would have qualified for expanded Medicaid, if North Carolina hadn't refused to take the expansion money. As it stands, the premiums are still going to have to be affordable, and for a family on food stamps, affordable probably isn't what lawmakers and insurance companies think it is.
Tanya McIntyre, 29, a mother of two in Asheville, North Carolina, and her truck-driver husband just got approved for food stamps; they can't afford a car, much less health insurance. McIntyre said she does "not agree with" the healthcare reform law's requirement that people buy insurance. "We can barely afford to survive. Being forced to have insurance, I do not agree with that. They're trying to force it on people who it's their last nickel and dime."
A family like hers will likely qualify for $8,400 in subsidies toward a $9,900 annual premium, and that might be enough to overcome her ideological objections to Obamacare. They will buy coverage on North Carolina's exchange, McIntyre said, "if we can find one cheap enough."
But there's definite good news in this survey for Obamacare's success: young people want to have health insurance, and the more they learn about Obamacare—according to Reuters' interviews—the more they like it: "many who had not heard of the exchanges or were disinclined to enroll did an about-face when presented with basic information about the new coverage." That makes the job of the administration in getting the word out about the new law even more critical.