It’s been reported often that enrolling enough young healthy people in Obamacare will be a critical part of the program in order to offset the costs of insuring the rest of enrolled Americans. And we’ve seen in recent weeks that the administration (and advocacy groups) are certainly targeting the “young invincibles” crowd.
Overall numbers of signups have been improving, but the numbers still have fallen far short of original targets. And that’s had some asking what the backup plan might be if enough young healthy people don’t enroll.
Byron York at the Washington Examiner reports:
Now, it’s becoming apparent why Obamacare advocates are putting on such a confident face: They have no backup plan if their national health care scheme fails.
Last Wednesday Jason Furman, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, joined the Washington think tank Third Way for a wide-ranging discussion. Near the end of the session, Third Way scholar Bill Schneider brought up Obamacare. “Does the administration have any kind of backup plan — if not enough young healthy people sign up for the Affordable Care Act, what’s going to happen?” Schneider asked. Noting that he teaches college classes, and his students don’t seem particularly well-informed about Obamacare, Schneider continued, “What are you going to do if they don’t sign up in large numbers? The numbers don’t look that good for young healthy people.”
Thurman’s[sic] response was not particularly encouraging for the administration. “We actually don’t have a great demographic breakdown,” he said, “but what we do know is that there was a big increase in enrollment in November relative to October, and we’ve seen increasing demand in December, although we don’t have the final numbers and we don’t have the demographic breakdown.”
Furman went on to explain that social media marketing will be an important part of the administration’s push to encourage young healthy people to enroll in the program. He also mentioned the importance of the advertising that insurance companies are doing.
But when pressed further about whether or not there was any sort of backup plan, Furman didn’t quite offer any Plan B in response, according to the Washington Examiner.
Schneider was still curious. “But you have no particular backup plan?”
“There’s a Plan A,” Furman answered. “Which is to enroll as many young healthy people as you possibly can.”
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