Conn. Dem: 'You're Not Gonna Re-Order One-Sixth of the Economy Without Winners and Losers'
A Connecticut Democrat said today they're not worried about the lack of young people signing up on the Obamacare exchanges -- a cornerstone of the program working as intended -- because kids are procrastinators.
Sen. Chris Murphy said he doesn't believe the American public has lost faith in Obamacare "because ultimately what matters to them is whether they can get access to affordable health care."
"We've actually had about 8,000 people enrolled, which is about 10 times as many as we were expecting in the first month. And so we've seen that in other states as well," he said of his home state. "So you know, ultimately, you know, whether people are confident or not in the website, once they're able to actually get on and buy this product, which frankly, they can do through a phone call right now. I think you're gonna see a lot of people sign up."
When the MSNBC host noted that the majority of signups are over 55 years of age, Murphy said he's not worried about young people signing up eventually.
"What we also know about young people, is that they wait in the last minute to do a lot of things. And as the youngest member of the Senate, I can certainly speak for that generation. So when you look at the experience in Massachusetts, which is probably the most instructive one, only 0.3 percent of the people who ultimately enrolled, did so in the first month. The vast majority did it right before the deadline. And most of the young people did it before the deadline," Murphy said.
"So, I just don't wanna panic right now when we're only 30 days, 40 days into enrollment. We've got plenty of time for this thing to work. And ultimately, given the fact that we know it's an affordable product, especially for young people who have subsidies, they're gonna end up signing up."
The senator called the controversy over the tech-woe website "a political cloud, created by Republicans, who never wanted this thing to work in the first place."
"I think we need to, you know, get well into next year as we start to look at the numbers as we come towards March before any of us have a sense of whether the website has had a significant hangover," Murphy added. "...You're not gonna re-order one-sixth of the American economy, which is what health care represents, without having some winners and losers."
"Some people are gonna be upset with their experience in the new system. But way more people are going to get a better, more affordable product out of this. And I just don't think we should have an expectation that everyone is going to be happy. The vast majority of people who see a change in their health care benefit are gonna be happy. But there's gonna be some folks who are gonna walk away from this change with a little bit less than they had before."