As Deadline Looms, Can Obama Get Young People to Enroll in the ACA?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Screen shot from "Between Two Ferns."

In 1992, then-candidate Bill Clinton went on the Arsenio Hall Show to play his saxophone, and the young crowd went wild.

Now in 2014, President Barack Obama marked another milestone in the bully pulpit's quest to the get the attention of young people when he appeared this week on comedian Zach Galifinakas's web show, "Between Two Ferns," in a last ditch effort to get young people to sign up for the Affordable Care Act.

While Clinton was trying to be cool, President Obama needs to get young people to act—young people have voted for Obama in far greater numbers than they voted for Bill Clinton, but now they need to spend money to sign up for health insurance in the next two weeks as the ACA enrollment deadline creeps closer.

Mary Agnes Carey, senior correspondent for Kaiser Health News, joins The Takeaway to lay out the numbers. Also joining the program is Josh Carpenter, co-founder of Bama Covered, which employs volunteer college students to encourage ACA enrollment in the state of Alabama.


Mary Agnes Carey and Josh Carpenter

Produced by:

Ellen Frankman


T.J. Raphael

Comments [6]

Tina from tarrytown

Young people...not only do you have accidents ( even when you are not snowboarding) but you get sick as well, and you have babies... do you not buy car insurance, because you are young, have good eyesight, and are good drivers? what about those unforseen snow storms, and sudden rocks in the road?

Mar. 14 2014 03:35 PM

It is great that those who didn't have insurance before do, but here in Massachusetts, "the model of health care reform" affordable is a questionable term. If your employer offers insurance you have to take it: you can't join the marketplace. Your employer only has to pay 33% of the cost. A family plan is well over $20,000/year. We've paid on average $16,000 a year for insurance: that is my employee co-payment and that is with a $4,000 family deductible. There is nothing to help those of us caught between eligible for subsidized health care and making enough for this not be a crippling hit to our income. Forget retirement, savings or college. All our "extra income" goes to paying for health insurance.

Mar. 14 2014 03:01 PM

Experience is the great teacher.

After a divorce at the age of 54 I worked to pay for health insurance, and had an accident, broke my leg; Weeeee, $36,000 right out the window, but I only had to pay $700! Kids feel invincible as if nothing can touch them, and many nowadays are self-centered, feeling no need to add their-indomitable-selves to the pool. Don't know what to do about that, except to wait and some will hit the emergency room and have some catching up to do.

There just isn't enough sound information to sway youth, and scare tactics don't work - it's the law that will convince them. Remember, it's a tax that everyone must pay to the best of their ability. I'm pretty sure when I was youthful, I'd wait to see if I could skate, especially if I was in a family who hated Obama, and hated everything he and the Democratic Party does.

Again, Experience is the great teacher.

Mar. 14 2014 02:40 PM
Gen Putnam from Portland, OR

Younger people who decline health insurance are gambling with their futures. One never knows when a health problem or accident will happen. At a young and healthy 35 I was struck with a life threatening issue, requiring emergency surgery, time off from work and a lot of healing. If I hadn't had insurance that would have bankrupt my household. Now, at age 47 I am so grateful to have insurance and I would encourage everyone to take advantage of getting coverage. If you don't roll the dice on having car insurance, mortgage insurance, rental insurance, etc., why in the world would you gamble on health insurance?

Mar. 14 2014 12:55 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

A barrage of fear tactic commercials would work to get young people to join The Affordable Care Act; Scenes of young people getting injured and not being able to get proper care because they have no health coverage will result in people joining ACA in droves.

Morally wrong, but the numbers will increase of young people responding to the Affordable Care Act. "This is going to hurt me, more than it hurts you!" is my tagline for this series of ads.

Mar. 14 2014 12:53 PM
Ed from Larchmont

What a disaster of an interview, how demeaning for the president. Anyway, as Miller says 'I still call it Obamacare. I'll call it the Affordable Care Act when the president changes his name to Barack Affordable'. And another postponement in the law. Soon the administration itself will have postponed the law.

Mar. 14 2014 09:27 AM

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