The White House on Tuesday downplayed data showing that young Americans weren’t signing up for Obamacare at the rate initially expected by the administration.
The Department of Health and Human Services on Monday released figures showing that just 24 percent of the nearly 2.2 million people who have enrolled in Obamacare exchanges are between the ages of 18 and 34.
"Nobody contests anymore whether or not there is a huge appetite for this product,” White House press secretary Jay Carney insisted.
“Young people are going to be, by in large, late to the party when it comes to signing up,” he added.
The White House, however, originally projected that more than 38 percent of Obamacare enrollees would come from the youngest age group. And Republicans say the White House is in denial over how younger Americans feel about the Affordable Care Act.
Carney pointed to the health care system in Massachusetts, a model for Obamacare, suggesting that younger people waited until the last moment before the deadline to enroll in exchanges.
Ensuring that so-called millennials sign up for Obamacare is critically important for President Obama’s signature domestic achievement.
If enough younger, healthier people don’t sign up, premiums will skyrocket for older, sicker patients.