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Obamacare still struggling to sign up millennials

It isn't surprising that Obamacare would be less popular among those with the lowest medical costs. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

It isn’t surprising that Obamacare would be less popular among those with the lowest medical costs. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

By Philip Klein, Washington Examiner

Hoping to blunt the momentum of Obamacare repeal, officials are spending the closing days of the Obama administration trying to push the idea that the president’s signature healthcare law is a success. But a new administration report touted for showing growing enrollment on the law’s exchanges also contained bad news: Insurers are having no better luck convincing younger Americans to purchase coverage.

The failure of Obamacare to sign up enough younger and healthier individuals to offset the cost of covering older and sicker enrollees is at the root of problems encountered by the law’s exchanges. This is why insurers have been losing billions of dollars and have responded by some combination of raising premiums, slashing networks of doctors and hospitals, and exiting Obamacare markets altogether.

Taken together, these problems have led to higher costs and fewer choices, and they have fueled Republican arguments that repealing the collapsing law is a necessary first step toward fixing the healthcare system.

For all the talk by the administration of a stabilizing insurance market in 2017, the latest enrollment report released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services showed that just 26 percent of the 11.5 million Obamacare insurance signups came from the crucial 18-year-old to 34-year-old demographic — the same proportion as 2016, which was a disastrous one for many Obamacare insurers.

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