Since signing up younger Americans is the key to ObamaCare success or failure, I thought I’d check in with my niece, a college junior, to get a read on the pulse of younger Americans when it comes to the healthcare law.
Granted, she can stay on her parents’ insurance for several more years, so buying health insurance isn’t foremost on her mind right now, but she works in a retail store with many people President Obama needs to sign up to make his signature piece of legislation work.
According to my niece, her co-workers haven’t really even thought about the cost yet because another big obstacle looms in their way first.
Here it is.
They don’t want to divulge a lot of personal information to the government even if it might be even the most basic name, rank, and serial number variety. Most young people, she informs me, don’t like the government getting in their business.
Granted, this is the same generation that has no trouble posting naked drunken photos of themselves on Facebook for everyone to see or hurling insults at enemies on Twitter, but providing the U.S. government with too much information about themselves gives them pause.
Never mind that Google knows them better than they know themselves, and when Christmas rolls around and they can’t think of what they want for the occasion, all they need to do is log on to Amazon and they’ll see all kinds of “suggestions” that are amazingly on target.
They can deal with all of that. Believing, however, that the government is collecting individual information on them to store deep in a mountain in Utah somewhere disturbs them.
The ObamaCare website itself isn’t helpful in this regard. The Weekly Standard uncovered the following disclaimer deep in the healthcare.gov website: “You have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding the communication or data transiting or stored on this information system.”
It adds: “At any time, and for any lawful Government purpose, the government may monitor, intercept, and search and seize any communication or data transiting or stored on the information system.”
This “disclaimer” is giving even older Americans pause, but it’s particularly alarming to the generation of Americans who were shocked recently by NSA spying on Americans and who hail one of their own, Edward Snowden, a hero.
So while the Obama administration anxiously awaits enrollment numbers of younger healthier Americans, they may ultimately be stymied in their goals not by the most obvious roadblock in getting them to sign up (cost) but by an underlying libertarian streak deeply ingrained in Millennials everywhere.
Even the best sales pitch by President Obama and the Baltimore Ravens (recently signed up to perform that task) likely won’t make much of a difference.