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Saturday was "National Youth Enrollment Day" for the Health and Human Services department: a culmination of extremely expensive effots to get young people to sign up for Obamacare-sponsored health care plans on Healthcare.gov.
But the powers that be, who are utterly convinced that they are singularly capable of running a national health care system, approached Youth Enrollment Day with an interesting proposition: what if Healthcare.gov went down for scheduled maintenance on the exact day they suggested that every Millennial in America feed their personal information into an unsecured website all at once.
Predictably, failure was imminent.
Saturday is National Youth Enrollment Day for Obamacare, a day designed to help make up for youth recruitment time lost while HealthCare.gov was down last year. It will be marked by a broad array of events, from Head Start information sessions to pub crawls.
The day will also feature a HealthCare.gov outage that came as a surprise to the White House allies who have been planning Feb. 15 enrollment activities for weeks.
“We just found that out,” said Aaron Smith, co-founder of the recruitment group Young Invincibles. “Obviously it’s unfortunate.”
“It’s not ideal,” another Obamacare ally said.
Of course, hundreds of events were planned for Saturday, by everyone from the American Cancer Society to the United Way to Organizing for Action, all designed to lead young people into donating their bodies to government science. The outage will continue until tomorrow morning at 8am, which is, of course, three days after you had to be signed up to receive health care starting March 1st. Thankfully, HHS, which has never had much respect for the rules as they stand, has extended the deadline until Tuesday. So, you know. Good luck.
As of last week, only 25% of health care enrollees are under the age of 35. The original target of the massive advertising program the White House undertook was around 40% and, of course, that's what's needed to make sure the health care system remains viable. But for a White House that was once touted as a painfully relevant cultural icon, their marketing to Millennials has been incredibly tone deaf.
Even though they desperately need to feed the machine with supple young bodies, Obama's team has insisted that the best way to Millennial hearts is through basketball players they don't really remember, pictures of kittens, ads featuring college kids doing kegstands and thanking their date for free birth control, and a $1.35 million dollar, six-hour web-only telethon that featured a twerking Richard Simmons, but not many compelling arguments to join up. It's as if the White House thinks those of us who have yet to cross the age line lack the intellectual capability necessary to make informed decisions for ourselves.
Of course, it's not as though they think any American is capable of making informed decisions for themselves, so I suppose we shouldn't feel that left out.