CNN: ObamaCare Sign-ups 'Good'; Blames Insurance Industry For Lack of Young Adults
[More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.]
On the 14 January 2014 edition of New Day, CNN's Chris Cuomo and Elizabeth Cohen applauded the 2.2 million reported enrollments in ObamaCare as "good," but also lamented that only 25 percent of the sign-ups are young adults. The Obama administration had hoped that 40 percent of the enrollees would fall in the 18 to 34-year-old age group.
Cuomo and Cohen pointed the finger entirely at insurance companies for this low figure and the resulting higher health insurance premiums:
ELIZABETH COHEN: ...If you have too many older people, your costs are going to go up, up, up, and insurance companies...were essentially told to expect around 40 percent. And so, they set their premiums accordingly. And now, insurance companies might say, hold on a minute. You didn't give us as many young people as you said you would. That means the following year, we might have to hike those premiums up – and not just a little bit, but a lot.
CHRIS CUOMO: All right, here's the cynic in me, Elizabeth: isn't that convenient – that the insurance companies, who study actuarial tables the way I struggle with shirt-tie combinations, are now saying to the government, oh, we were depending on you for the numbers. That's curious....
COHEN: ..[I]s it possible that, between now and the end of March, we're going to have lots of young people come in; we are going to meet that 40 percent expectation? Absolutely, that's possible, and if that happens, that's great. But I'll tell you, if it doesn't happen, it really is a problem for the insurance companies. I don't mean to say, oh, the poor little insurance companies – I can be as cynical as the next person about insurance companies...But I will say that this is a real problem. They were told to expect a certain percentage. They set prices accordingly. If it stays at 25 percent, that is going to be a real economic issue.