President Obama had little trouble garnering young people's support for his election—but when it comes to youth backing for the Affordable Care Act, it's a different story. Young enrollees are essential to the functioning of ObamaCare, but as of the end of February, just 1.08 million had signed up, the White House says. That's 25% of total enrollees; the administration needs the figure to be 40%, it has said. "If the proportion doesn’t improve significantly, the result likely will be fatal for the Affordable Care Act," writes Dana Milbank in the Washington Post.
Why have young people become detached from the Obama presidency? Milbank has some theories. For one thing, they were "disillusioned" by the lack of a "public option" in health care reform. And more broadly, millenials have an "inability … to remain attached to a cause. The generation that brought Obama to power is connected online but has no loyalty to institutions"—like political parties, unions, churches, and the White House, Milbank writes. "The organizational structure they’re growing up in is so weak," says an expert on young people's civic involvement. "There aren’t very many durable institutions that can capitalize on their enthusiasm. They’re being asked to do it themselves, online, and it’s a tall order." Click for the full piece. (Obama is, of course, working on youth outreach.)