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Topics: Obamacare

Older voters aren't fooled by Obamacare hype

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Opinion,Hugh Hewitt,Columnists,Obamacare,Medicare and Medicaid,Magazine

Census stats from 2010 tell us there are about 40 million Americans 65 and older today -- 17 million are men and 23 million women, give or take a half million since the data is getting as old as the country.

Eighty million more Americans are between the ages 45 and 64, and about 3.5 million hit "near-senior" status of 55 every year.

The older you are, the more likely you are to vote. At every election, but especially in off-year elections like the one approaching in November.

The older you are, the more conservative you are as well. Mitt Romney won 55.6 percent of the 65+ vote in 2012, and only 36.5 percent of the voters under the age of 30.

Get it? The country is getting older. The older folks are more conservative, and they vote more often, especially in off-year elections. They are also better informed, watch more cable news and listen to more talk radio than younger people.

This is why Democrats are panicked about the fall elections. This is why they should be panicked. Older voters know exactly what is going on with their heath care. They know exactly what has happened to their premiums and the availability of their doctors. They also know that President Obama could appear in the Rose Garden a hundred times proclaiming victory for Obamacare and it won't change a thing about the impact on their lives. They know about the manipulations to try and postpone the very worst of what is coming their way, and they know -- because they read the fine print -- that the president is fudging every number in an attempt to deceive them.

Here is what the president said Thursday:

And as more data comes in, we now know that the number of Americans who’ve signed up for private insurance in the marketplaces has grown to 8 million people -- 8 million people. Thirty-five percent of people who enrolled through the federal marketplace are under the age of 35. All told, independent experts now estimate that millions of Americans who were uninsured have gained coverage this year -- with millions more to come next year and the year after.

Now older, "high-information" voters know that 8 million haven't "enrolled" in the sense that enrolled means filling out forms and paying premiums. They also know that the 35 percent number is inflated by the young people on their parents' policies until they hit 26, and that the "real" number of "enrolled" under the age of 35 is less than 28 percent. (Again, we don't know how many of those 28 percent will actually pay the premiums for the plans they "enrolled" in, and keep paying them.) Seniors also know the "success" of the program's individual mandate requires a risk pool of 40 percent of "premium-paying" enrolled under 35, and that Obamacare is failing on that metric as it is on every other non-manipulated metric.

Mostly the seniors know that a hundred manipulations have poured out of the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services, and that each one is designed to keep the whole jerry-rigged Rube Goldberg scheme from either kicking in completely or collapsing outright before they vote in the fall.

Here's the deal, though. You can't fool Mother Nature, and you can't fool grandma (or grandpa.) They know because they have time on their hands and they pay attention. To the details. To the checks they write. To their doctors especially, and especially to those they either cannot get in to see or fear they won't be able to see in 2015 when the guillotine finally falls on Medicare Advantage.

The president cannot spin his way out of this one. The seniors and near-seniors are coming for Obamacare. Soon.

Hugh Hewitt is a nationally syndicated talk radio host, law professor at Chapman University's Fowler School of Law, and author, most recently of The Happiest Life. He posts daily at HughHewitt.com and is on Twitter @hughhewitt.
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