Hey, ObamaCare's going to work, okay?

Of course, it’s important that people who want to sign up can actually do so. But the computer problems can and will be fixed. So, by March 31, when enrollment for 2014 closes, we can be reasonably sure that millions of Americans who were previously uninsured will have coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Obamacare will have become a reality, something people depend on, rather than some fuzzy notion Republicans could demonize. And it will be very hard to take that coverage away.

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What we still don’t know, and is crucial for the program’s longer-term success, is who will sign up. Will there be enough young, healthy enrollees to provide a favorable risk pool and keep premiums relatively low? Bear in mind that conservative groups have been spending heavily — and making some seriously creepy ads — in an effort to dissuade young people from signing up for insurance. Nonetheless, insurance companies are betting that young people will, in fact, sign up, as shown by the unexpectedly low premiums they’re offering for next year.

And the insurers are probably right. To see why anti-Obamacare messaging is probably doomed to fail, think about whom we’re talking about here. That is, who are the healthy uninsured individuals the program needs to reach? Well, they’re by and large not affluent, because affluent young people tend to get jobs with health coverage. And they’re disproportionately nonwhite.

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