Why the big push for young people to participate in Obamacare - KCTV5

Why the big push for young people to participate in Obamacare

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

While healthcare may be top of mind for older people or people with kids, the younger crowd doesn't always pay close attention, and that could mean trouble for Obamacare to work.

Wednesday, the Kaiser Foundation put out a calculator that approximates how much people could pay for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, and if a person qualifies for a subsidy. The Obama Administration wants more young people to enroll in the program, but for some, it's a hard sell.

Allie York is 21 and she says she is healthy. She doesn't have healthcare insurance and doesn't understand why she should be forced to buy it.

"Why should we have to pay for healthcare? We shouldn't. I mean, honestly," she said.

Her boyfriend, who is covered by his parents, agrees.

"I don't think it's right to make us have to pay for that. I think that it should be a choice," Brad Webber said.

This is the uphill battle the White House is fighting in its effort to encourage younger uninsured Americans, between the ages of 27 and 41, to sign up for enrollment in the healthcare marketplaces. The Obama Administration is already using celebrities like singer and actress Jennifer Hudson and comedian Will Ferrell to reach and convince the younger demographic to take part.

The goal is to have a strong balance of participants in the healthcare system.

"If you have more people in the pool that are using a lot of healthcare services and younger people in the pool that are not, then it's not going to be a sustainable program," said Wayne Powell, vice president of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City.

Doc Butler works part-time teaching children with autism, and said the Affordable Care Act is a good thing.

"Anytime that people can get health and services that's affordable, how can anything be bad about that?" Butler said.

Butler is insured, but said the premiums are expensive, and he blames those like York for driving up costs.

"Everybody pays. You're going to have to pay one way or the other. Why not do it the right way?" Butler said.

But York said she's standing on principle.

"If we honestly don't believe that anything's going to happen to us and it does, that's our choice. And as Americans, we have earned that right," she said.

If you want to crunch your own healthcare costs numbers, you can find the calculator on our website. Just go to the News tab at the top of the page, click on the It's Your Health in the drop down and you can find the information on the live chat page.

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