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Obamacare Not Attracting Young Americans

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Younger Americans tell CBS News it is cheaper to pay the penalty than to enroll in the Affordable Care Act program. (Getty Images)

Younger Americans tell CBS News it is cheaper to pay the penalty than to enroll in the Affordable Care Act program. (Getty Images)

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For more information about the Affordable Care Act, visit CBSDC.com/ACA.
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WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – While the White House is celebrating that more than 7 million Americans have signed up during the Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment window, the law could still be facing some high hurdles.

Younger people, on whom the success of the program depends, are preferring to pay a penalty rather than sign up because of the cost.

As of last month, only a quarter of Obamacare applicants were under age 34, according to CBS Moneywatch.

“It doesn’t work for me,” San Jose, Calif., bartender Brian Roi tells CBS News. “I went to college. I have to pay all these student loans…. I’m paying credit card bills that occurred when I went to college.”

Roi said he’d prefer to pay the penalty for not getting coverage under Obamacare: $95, or 1 percent of a person’s taxable income, whichever amount is greater. For Roi, that penalty comes to around $350 for the year, compared to the $3,000 he’d have to pay for health care insurance as part of the ACA.

“I guess they’re trying to scare people into doing it,” he added. “But a smart person will realize that’s only one month of insurance.”

Robert Hicken, a self-employed entrepreneur, says he’s willing to risk going without health insurance for now.

“I could have done it,” he said. “I could have pulled the trigger, but that feeling in the back of my mind still kind of rubbed me the wrong way that I live here in the United States of America and I’m being forced to do something.”

recent CBS News poll says 53 percent of respondents disapprove of Obamacare, with 41 percent approving.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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