Next week, the first round of open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will close until October. Policymakers and pundits have speculated about how young people will respond to the ACA general, and the individual mandate in particular. The success of the ACA depends in part on the willingness of young people to either sign up for health coverage, or pay the penalty. We are one of the few organizations to collect data from a nationally representative sample of young people to investigate what young people really think about the ACA.
In this report, we discuss the findings from a national survey we conducted in January 2014 of 1,500 young people under the age of 30. We find the following:
- More than 80 percent of Black youth approve of the ACA compared with 51.8 percent of Latino youth and 34.0 percent of white youth.
- Black youth support the individual mandate at higher rates (41.4 percent) than either Latino youth (33.4 percent) or white youth (9.4 percent).
- Black youth (9.5 percent) and Latino youth (7.7 percent) reported they signed up for coverage under the ACA at more than double the rate of white youth (3.5 percent).
- Among the uninsured, 70 percent of Black youth reported they planned to sign up.