Topics: Barack Obama

Obama talks health law enrollment with young activists

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President Obama on Friday had lunch with five young people who are working to boost enrollment in Obamacare's new insurance exchanges.

The White House said the five were “spearheading creative outreach efforts to connect with and help enroll young consumers through the marketplaces or are interested in getting more involved with these efforts.”

Obama met the activists at The Coupe, a restaurant in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington.

“The president wanted to hear directly from young people about their experiences spreading the word about the importance of signing up for quality, affordable health insurance and thank them for their efforts,” said the White House about the meeting.

The diners included Anne Johnson, the executive director of Generation Progress, the youth division of the liberal Center for American Progress; David Dimock, a White House Youth Summit attendee; Jasmine Hicks, national organizing and education manager for Young Invincibles, a group which educates young people about health care; local radio personality Tommy McFly, and Andres Cruz, who works with DC Health Link to enroll District of Columbia residents for health insurance.

The launch of the Obamacare online insurance exchanges were plagued with technical problems marring the healthcare.gov website. Despite a “tech surge” and claims that the website was repaired, the administration is still well behind their enrollment targets.

The administration announced that 2.1 million consumers had signed up through the end of 2013, but they are well behind their goal of signing up 7 million by the end of March 2014.

The White House has also declined to share figures on how many of those who have signed up have actually paid their first month's premiums, or what percentage are young, healthy enrollees. For Obamacare to work, a significant number of healthy young people must be signed up to offset older, sicker consumers.

The administration though is pressing ahead with an enrollment drive to boost numbers and has touted the improving performance of the healthcare.gov website.

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