Obamacare Deadline: Biden’s Guilt-Trip Plan For Young People Enrollment

 @LauraMatt on March 21 2014 1:00 PM
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden
US Vice President Joe Biden prepares to introduce President Barack Obama at Lackawanna College in Biden’s hometown of Scranton, Pa., on Aug. 23, 2013. Reuters

There's no way to sugarcoat it: Vice President Joe Biden is trying to guilt-trip America's young people into registering for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces, otherwise known as Obamacare.

The open enrollment deadline for Obamacare is March 31, and the administration is conducting a final push in its attempt to hit its goal of six million enrollees. Approximately five million people have already registered for health insurance through one of the program's exchanges. The administration wants to boost the number of people enrolled in Obamacare, which faces constant attacks from Republicans. The administration believes that the greater the number of Americans enrolled in Obamacare, the more Obamacare's detractors will its see value. The White House is targeting young people, who are generally healthier than their older counterparts and offset the cost of care for those who are older and, in general, sicker.

Speaking to the National Association of Community Health Centers in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Biden said the administration cannot do it alone. As a result, he said he entrusted health care providers to continue working with the administration to push even harder to bring more enrollees into the pool. Community health centers serve approximately 21 million people in various communities across the nation.

Biden left them with these talking points to sell Obamacare:

Peace Of Mind

Getting covered, the vice president said, is a chance for people to live their lives with more security, so that if they meet up with difficulties, they aren’t “an accident or an illness away from bankruptcy.”

Guilt Trip Those Young Ones

Young adults at times tend to think they’re invincible, Biden said, so he encouraged parents to urge their kids to use word of mouth and just do it for mom and dad.

“What I say to them [is], remind your friends that even though they think they’re invincible, they owe it to their parents to give them peace of mind. ... A little bit of a guilt trip ... . So every kid out there [who] you know who didn’t sign up, remind them, ‘your mother is going to be worried. You owe her.'”

Choice

This selling point may be more for those who are stuck in a job they don't like simply because they need to keep their health care plan. Enrolling in Obamacare, Biden said, is about “choice, opportunity and freedom.”

As he sees it, “The law gives folks the freedom to follow their dreams regardless of where they live or what they do because now they will be covered no matter where they go.”

Get At Those ‘Hold-Out’ States

Not every lawmaker is enthused about the new health care law; what's more, the decision about Medicaid expansion under Obamacare lies with state leaders. Some governors have already signed on for the expansion. Some are considering whether to do so, while others have declined to take part.

Biden encouraged providers to lobby wavering states extensively. “You’re the ones who fuel that progress," he said. "Push as hard as you can in these last few days. The higher the numbers the more certitude that this is going to last a long time.” 

Join the Discussion