The Obamacare team has used Hollywood celebrities, star athletes, animals, online games and memes to entice young people to the state and federal healthcare exchanges before today’s midnight deadline. They even put the president on Zach Galifianakis’ snarky web series “Between Two Ferns.”
The marketing strategy may be paying off.
According to a poll released by Pew Research Center for People & the Press earlier this month, 50 percent of young adults, age 18 to 29, now say they ”approve” of Obamacare. Compare that to a similar survey taken three months ago. Back in December, just 41 percent of those in the 18-29 demographic said they approved of the president’s signature healthcare law.
The number of 18- to 29- year-olds who disapprove of the Affordable Care Act has fallen by 7 percentage points, from 54 percent in December to 47 percent last week.
By contrast, older adults’ Affordable Care Act approval ratings have stayed relatively stable, even falling slightly. Among adults age 50 to 64, for instance, approval of the law has dipped by 5 percentage points, from 43 percent in early December to 38 percent this month.
Carroll Doherty, Pew Research Center’s Director of Political Research, said, “There was a falloff in support among young people last fall during and after the flawed rollout of the health exchanges … As those problems have receded at least somewhat, support for the ACA has rebounded a bit among young people.”
A higher approval rating doesn’t necessarily mean millennials will actually purchase health insurance, and young adults are the lynch pin in the Obama administration’s effort to keep health care affordable for all Americans. As of the last tally, as of March 1, millennial enrollment remained lower than anticipated, representing just a quarter of enrollees.
The White House, citing youthful procrastination, was reportedly expecting a last minute surge of applicants. The federal site reported a record surge of people trying to enroll today, but it was not clear the age group of those enrolling in the final hours before the deadline.