Today has been dubbed “Youth Enrollment Day” for Obamacare. Of course, when they say “youth,” they’re talking about 20-somethings who aren’t on their parents’ plans. So maybe it’s “Mid- to Late-Twenties Enrollment Day.”
And thanks to poorly planned site maintenance by the Social Security Administration, HealthCare.gov will actually be down starting at 3 p.m. today and for the rest of the three-day weekend.
A BuzzFeed headline sums it up: “Youth Obamacare Enrollment Groups Surprised To Learn Obamacare Website Won’t Work On National Youth Enrollment Day.”
But the events will go on, each trying to crack the code of convincing young folks to enter the new health care era.
Will it work for Obamacare ambassadors to walk up to patrons in a bar and start talking to them about Obamacare? That’s the pub crawl in Austin, Texas: “going from bar to bar sharing information and cocktails with young people.”
They have to try something, because young Americans aren’t enrolling like the Administration had hoped.
David Pasch of Generation Opportunity lists some of the lame—and comical—attempts to woo young people at the federal and state levels, including a new spokesman:
The latest effort involves former NBA star Magic Johnson. Sorry: While Johnson commands respect for his athletic and personal achievements, he’s the not the best candidate to market anything to Millennials. He retired in 1991. Anyone under 23 never even saw him pick up a basketball. So here’s marketing lesson No. 1: You’ve lost us when we have to Google your spokesman.
Generation Opportunity is leading a campaign encouraging young people to “Opt Out” of Obamacare. At OptOut.org, it says, “Young Americans had options before Obamacare. We still do.” The site reminds millennials that under Obamacare, they’ll face the cost of paying for older, sicker Americans and put their personal information into an insecure government database.
Today’s ill-timed website maintenance is just a trifling example of the ways the Administration failed to think through marketing this law to young Americans. After all, the law itself doesn’t exactly encourage them to sign up. As Heritage expert Alyene Senger reminds us:
When you consider that the penalty for not purchasing insurance is far less than the cost of coverage, it doesn’t bode well for incentivizing the population Obamacare so desperately needs to make the premium math work for the rest of exchange enrollees.
Then again, maybe a pub crawl is the answer. It’ll take a few drinks to make this raw deal sound good.