Exclusive -- 'I heard it doesn’t work': College Students React to Obamacare
by Jerome Hudson 11 Jan 2014, 8:05 PM
President Obama’s support among young Americans ages 18 to 29 has plunged from 61 percent in December 2012 to last month’s low of 46 percent.
A survey by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics found that 57 percent of young people disapprove of Obamacare, 51 percent said the law would increase the amount they pay for health coverage, and just 18 percent believe their quality of health care will improve under the law.
Breitbart News visited two universities in Florida’s state capital, Tallahassee, to gauge students’ opinions about the high costs of the Affordable Care Act.
Specifically, this reporter interviewed students at Florida A&M University (FAMU), one of America’s largest and oldest historically black universities, and Florida State University (FSU) about what they thought of the new healthcare law and its rollout.
Alexandra, 21, an electronics engineer and technology major at FAMU, said that “her mom and dad are pissed” about their insurance premiums going up. “They are really upset about their insurance right now. I’m surprised they haven’t taken me off yet,” Alexandra continued.
When I explained to Alexandra how much an uninsured FAMU student would have to pay in fines, she was shocked. “$95 to $395? Are you serious?” she asked. I explained that the fines would increase every year and are administered through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). “If I can’t afford to pay for the damn insurance, what makes them think I can pay them?” Alexandra asked.
I asked a student named Franiqua who is studying elementary education at FAMU about the ACA’s online exchange website, HealthCare.gov. She said, “Yeah, I heard it doesn’t work.”
“Well, I knew the website was having trouble,” echoed Jon, a junior at Florida State.
For education majors like Franiqua, it is university policy that she have health insurance. However, that rule does not apply for all majors for FAMU students, many of whom do not have health coverage.
Florida State University (FSU) requires that every student have health insurance or that they purchase coverage through the University.
I asked Michael, 22, an international affairs major who has health insurance through Florida State, what he thought of the individual mandate. “I think the people who can’t afford it would obviously say that this is unfair, a burden, the government interfering in our lives. And the wealthier elites would probably not have as much of an issue with it,” said Michael.
Will, 21, also said that he heard the website wasn’t “doing too good.” A junior majoring in journalism at FAMU, Will has health coverage through his mother, a doctor.
Will was aware of the health law’s individual mandate and said that he “finds it stupid.” He added, “Once you reach adult age you should have your own choice, you shouldn’t be forced to buy it.” A fulltime student, Will works at a local restaurant where he has seen his hours cut from 38 to 25 a week. “It’s cheaper for [my employer] to cut me down on my hours, because at 30 hours, starting soon, they’re going to have to give you full benefits.”
Many students said they were happy to have health coverage under their parents' plans and hoped that by the time they graduated, they could land a job and receive coverage from their employers.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus might see young people’s reactions found in the Harvard survey as proof that ObamaCare was a law “intentionally designed to screw over young people.”
In Florida, Obama’s approval has cratered to an all-time low. A November Quinnipiac poll showed that voters in the Sunshine State disapprove of President Obama by a margin of 57 to 40 percent. Floridians also oppose the Affordable Care Act 54 to 39 percent, with 44 percent saying they believe the law will make their healthcare worse in 2014.