It’s now clear that the President Obama will go to absurd lengths to promote the Affordable Care Act and www.healthcare.gov, In particular, he agreed to do a segment on Between Two Ferns, a interview show with public-access cable television production values with interviewing Zach Galifianakis, who was good at a secondary character on the one-season TV drama Tru Calling, and maybe was in some movies as well.
The interview is admittedly funny, where the President is at peak rage, which for the rest of us looks like peeved annoyance.
Given all the times this blog has corrected GOP misstatements about health policy, it’s only fair that we fact-check the President as well:
1) “Most” young people are not uninsured. It *is* true that young people are disproportionately uninsured, but the Affordable Care Act is already helping reduce the number of uninsured in all age categories (with likely more impact as we get through the end of open enrollment in March and this year’s graduations this summer). As Jason Millman of the Washington Post summarizes: “The uninsured rate among 18-25 year-olds is now 23 percent, down from 23.5 percent, and the rate for 26 to 34 year-olds dropped from 28.2 percent to 26.6 percent.”
2) The idea of the “young invincible” is largely a myth. When offered coverage at work, about 80% of young people take it up, a similar rates as other age group. Young people are disproportionately uninsured because they are less likely to be offered on-the-job benefits, since many are working at entry-level jobs. Young people are more likely to be low-income, at a starting salary, and thus less able to afford coverage. Young people want and value health coverage, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll. The barrier has been cost and access through employer-based coverage. Young people, disproportionately uninsured, should be major beneficiaries of the ACA.
3) President Obama responded to one question with his own, asking: “Do you think a woman like Michelle would marry a nerd?” Our answer is that the Princeton-educated Michelle Obama indeed thought he was “nerdy”; a headline in 2009 proclaimed, “Obama the nerd who won Michelle.” It’s clear that despite the interviewer’s claim that Obama is “the last black president,” he’s actually the first nerd president, as has been declared multiple times.
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