Here’s How to Get Young People to Sign Up for Obamacare: Threaten Them

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Why are more young people signing up for Obamacare this year? According to Mike Perry and Tresa Undem of the polling firm PerryUndem, it’s because this year they’re being successfully browbeaten:

“They’re not like other groups,” says Perry. “In focus groups, they don’t talk about wanting preventive care, or the importance of covering their family. Young adults really talk about two things: accidents could screw me over, and I don’t want to pay the fine.

….[Anne Filipic of Enroll America] said that her group wanted to understand what they should call the individual mandate. Should it be the mandate? Or a tax? A fine? A penalty? Enroll America tested out the different words in different versions in the subject lines of their emails, seeing which ones recipients were more or less likely to open. They found that fine worked best — so they went with that.

….Enroll America has a calculator that lets potential enrollees see how much financial help they’d be eligible to receive if they signed up for coverage….”The calculator is consistently the most visited page on our site, so we’re testing different ways to incorporate that information,” she says. “We want to give consumers specific information, related to their own situation, rather than generalities.”

It also helps that the fine for not buying coverage is going up. In Obamacare’s first year the minimum fine was only $95. In 2015 it was $325. In 2016, it jumps to $695. This is a much stronger motivator, and it also makes the financial case for buying coverage a lot stronger. In other words, it’s doing exactly what it was designed to do.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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