Why March 31 is Far More Important –Particularly for Younger Americans
The media has described November 30 as the administration’s “self-imposed” enrollment deadline, but in fact conservatives—and the media itself—insisted on a date, demanding, over and over again, that the administration answer the “$400 million question”: How long will it take to fix the Federal Exchange?
Ultimately, Jeffrey Zients, the Obama administration’s new health-care website, promised the site would be “generally operational” for “the vast majority of users” by the end of November.” No one quite knew what that meant.
But immediately, the media turned the November 30 deadline into a headline. On November 28,CNN declared: “A moment of truth approaches for President Barack Obama’s signature health care reforms with Saturday’s self-imposed deadline to get the website to work properly for most users.”
Reuters chimed in: “President Barack Obama’s healthcare law is facing its biggest test this weekend since its disastrous October 1 launch . . . If the website does not work on Saturday’s deadline, that could turn off millions of uninsured Americans, especially young and healthy consumers whose participation in the new insurance exchanges are critical.”
Where, I wondered, is Reuters getting its information? From Fox?
Younger Americans Are Not as Intimidated by Website Snags
There is absolutely no reason to think that 20-something and 30-somethings are more frustrated with the technical glitches than anyone else. There is, in fact, every reason to think that young Americans are not nearly as bothered by software bugs.
First, keep in mind that most Millennials haven’t even tried to sign up. This is because they are not as anxious as older, sicker Americans about securing insurance.
But when they do go to the Healthcare.gov website, a twenty-something is likely to have an easier time than a 50-something when trying to work his way around glitches. Unlike many of their elders, Millennials solve software snags every day – at home, at work, at school. Twenty-five-year-olds who have grappled with Windows 8 will not be daunted–or surprised—by a few bugs. For many younger Americans working through such problems is almost intuitive.
This also helps explain why, despite the sustained bad-news blitz, a CNN poll released just last week shows that 18-34-year-olds overwhelmingly believe the president’s healthcare law will work: “Seven in 10 younger Americans think the current problems faced by Obamacare will eventually be fixed. Senior citizens are split, and most people between 35 and 65 years old think that the system is permanently broken,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. . (So much for 35-65 year boomers. Some of the folks in my generation are getting grumpy).