The Republican effort to repeal Obamacare may hit a brick wall in their own party as 62% of young Republicans are signing up and staying on their parents’ health insurance
According to a study by The Commonwealth Fund, “While public opinion polls have consistently shown a partisan divide in views of the health reform law, the survey finds that young adults who identified themselves as Republicans enrolled in their parents’ policies in greater numbers than young adults who identified themselves as Democrats. In March 2013, 63 percent of Republican young adults had enrolled in a parent’s policy in the past 12 months, compared with 45 percent of Democrats.”
The study also found that the Republican misinformation campaign about Obamacare has been a failure, “Starting in September 2010, the Affordable Care Act required all insurance plans offering dependent coverage to offer the same level of coverage at the same price to their enrollees’ adult children up to their 26th birthday. The survey finds that increasing numbers of young adults over the period 2011 to 2013 became aware of this requirement. By March 2013, 62 percent of the age group eligible to join a parent’s policy were aware of the provision. In particular, awareness increased among young adults with low income and those with a high school education or less, as well as among those who considered themselves Republicans and 23-to-25-year-olds.”
Remember when pundits and so called experts on both the left and right were proclaiming that President Obama was wasting his time trying to educate people about the ACA? They were certain that Republicans had won the battle, and that the ACA was going to be unpopular forever. It turns out that those critics were wrong.
President Obama has so effectively gotten his message out about the benefit of parents being able to keep their kids on their health insurance through college that nearly 2/3 of Republicans are taking advantage of this. It turns out that the president wasn’t wasting his time. He was pushing back against a Republican misinformation campaign, and he won.
The problem that Republicans are facing is best illustrated by this graphic from The Commonwealth Fund:
Young adults, including young Republicans, want health insurance. The strategy of repeal and don’t replace is pushing them away from the Republican Party. The GOP message on the ACA appeals mostly to the existing base of older white voters who are most likely already on Medicare.
In other words, the endless Republican campaign to repeal all of Obamacare is hurting them with young voters, young members of their own party, parents who are Republicans, and the country in general. Republicans haven’t caught on yet that there are parts of the ACA that the American people really, really like.
The tide has definitely turned on Obamacare. Republicans believed that Obamacare was their greatest weapon, but their opposition to the ACA might end up being the cause of their greatest defeat.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association