In an embarrassing bit of timing, the Obamacare website was down on Saturday due to a “Social Security system outage” on the same day as its National Youth Enrollment Day.
According to the HealthCare.gov website, Social Security system maintenance means “you won’t be able to submit an application at HealthCare.gov and find out what you are eligible for” from Feb. 15 at 3:00 PM until Feb. 18 at 5:00 AM EST. Obamacare’s National Youth Enrollment Day is Feb. 15.
Pro-Obamacare youth recruitment groups were crestfallen.
“We just found that out,” Aaron Smith, the Young Invincibles’ co-founder told Buzzfeed. “Obviously it’s unfortunate.”
Obamacare youth activist groups had billed National Youth Enrollment Day as “a huge day of action to educate young adults on the importance of having health insurance” and had flooded social media with graphics featuring celebrities Adam Levine,Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Amy Poehler, and others promoting the big day.
The public relations flap comes as the unpopular Obamacare program has failed to attract and enroll the young, healthy people it needs to cover the health costs of older, sicker people. Continued failure could prompt what experts call an actuarial death spiral, thereby rendering Obamacare financially unsustainable.
Last year, the White House said 40% of Obamacare enrollees would be 18 to 35 years old. However, as of Feb. 1, Health and Human Services (HHS) says just 25% of those who have signed up for Obamacare fall within that age group. Moreover, it is presently unclear how many of those individuals have even activated their coverage by making their first month’s premium payment.
With just six weeks to go before the March 31st deadline, Obamacare supporters had hoped that Obamacare’s National Youth Enrollment Day would surge youth enrollments.
With the website down for three days due to maintenance, however, supporters say it puts a damper on Obamacare’s National Youth Enrollment Day.
“It’s not ideal,” said another Obamacare ally.