POLITICS: PennAve

Obama: Young people will realize Obamacare benefits are 'priceless'

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President Obama on Thursday urged young people to sign up for Obamacare, telling them they would realize the benefits are “priceless.”

In an interview on MSNBC’s "Hardball with Chris Matthews," the president said he understood why young people have been hesitant to enroll in the new law’s insurance exchanges after the botched rollout. But he insisted that once young people become aware of the benefits from the health law, they will sign up.

"For young people to recognize that it is in their financial interest and their health interest to be able to get on-going preventive care, to be able to get free contraception and, you know, benefits like mammograms that allow them to maintain their health throughout their lives, without fear of going bankrupt or making their family bankrupt if they get sick, that's something that's priceless,” Obama said.

The glitch-filled healthcare.gov website and the millions of Americans who are losing their insurance plans under new Obamacare regulations despite the president’s promises have undercut support for Obama’s signature legislative achievement.

Polls show him at record-low approval ratings, and the public’s opinion of his managerial skills has declined. Young people, who backed the president strongly in 2008 and 2012, are also losing faith in the health care law.

For the law to be a success, the administration must enroll enough young people to balance out older and sicker people in the insurance pools and keep premiums low.

The White House, though, has said most of the issues with the website are now resolved and Obama is switching to offense, seeking to rally public support for Obamacare.

“I understand why people would have been resistant to going on a website that wasn't working right. And fortunately, because of some very hard work, we've now got it to the point where for the vast majority of people, it's working well,” said Obama. “And my message to young people is take a look for yourself.”

“There is no reason why you should not have health insurance,” he added.

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