Democrats are happy, no doubt, to have the overwhelming support of young, “low information” voters. And, presumably, they have little desire to see this constituency become better informed as a general matter.
But relying on the votes of young, low information voters is one thing; relying on their behavior is another.
And the Democrats are relying on their behavior. Obamacare, the signature accomplishment of the Democratic Party, depends on young, healthy individuals to buy health insurance. Without their widespread participation in the online insurance exchanges as a means of subsidizing the cost of treating older, sicker Americans, insurance premiums will sky-rocket, thereby threatening the eventual collapse of the system.
Which brings me to this United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll of 18-to-29-year-olds. It finds that more than half of this cohort believe Obamacare is likely to be repealed in 2014.
As the National Journal notes, the chances that Obamacare will be repealed next year are “remote.” But hey, we’re talking about low information voters here.
Unfortunately for the Democrats, it seems unlikely that young folks who expect Obamacare to be repealed will sign up in droves for health insurance plans on the Obamacare exchanges. For one thing, repeal presumably means no penalty for not signing up. In addition, how much confidence can one have in a plan associated with a law that’s “likely” to be repealed?
The National Journal blames “sustained House Republican efforts to repeal and undermine the law” for creating the misperception that repeal is likely. I’m pretty sure House Republicans wouldn’t shy away from taking the credit.
But it may be that the misperception stems in part from the view that, with the flaws of Obamacare and the broken promises associated with it now exposed, Congress and the President will do the right thing and scrap it. After all, these are the folks who swallowed “hope and change.”