FACT: 30% of Americans who signed up for coverage through the #Obamacare marketplaces are under 35. #GetCovered pic.twitter.com/Tu9yuWdguP
— Shin Inouye (@Inouye44) January 14, 2014
That's an estimated 660,000 young people of the 2.2 million who have signed up for private plans through the exchanges. Secretary of HHS, Kathleen Sebelius, put it in words earlier today:
The report includes, for the first time, demographic information on enrollees. Through December, 30 percent of those who enrolled were under age 35, with 24 percent being between the ages of 18 and 34 – consistent with the proportion of the population in this age group and in keeping with where Massachusetts enrollment was at this point. More importantly, it is a sign of a clear demand for health insurance.This, of course, is in addition to 3 million young adults under 26 who are now covered under their parents' private insurance plans thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Doing the math, that brings the total number of people under 35 who have private coverage thanks to Obamacare to 3,660,000 - or about 40% the total 9.2 million covered (including private coverage under exchanges, Medicaid expansion, and the mandate to insurance companies to cover children of the insured under 26).
After all of their other attempts to screw up the Affordable Care Act failed one by one - from trying to block it by throwing racial slurs at civil rights icons to astroturfing Congressional member visits to court challenges to shutting down the government to yelling loudly about website problems - Republicans turned to a faint hope. As the enrollment numbers began improving after the initial website problems, Republican leaders and office holders cautioned that this will still fail because young people won't sign up. And if young people didn't sign up, the risk pool will become older and sicker, shooting up cost.
Well, there goes that sand castle. I don't want to give anyone on the GOP side heart attacks (but if they do get Romnesia, it's covered under Obamacare), but the data not only indicates that young people are signing up in proportion to their portion in the population, but also that their signups are accelerating along with everyone else:
You could also call that a spectacular, going-up-in-flames gigantic failure of the Kock Brothers funded campaign to keep young people from getting health insurance under Obamacare. Apparently, young people aren't into creepy spread-your-legs Uncle Sam ads. Who knew?