Carney: We Can't Tell You How Many Young People Have Signed Up for Obamacare

Posted: Jan 06, 2014 2:10 PM
Carney: We Can't Tell You How Many Young People Have Signed Up for Obamacare

Speaking to reporters from the White House Monday, Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked by ABC's Jonathan Karl how many people between the ages of 18 and 35 have signed up for Obamacare.

"We don't have the data to provide, we don't have data that is ready to be released," Carney said."Demographic data is not available."

The Obamacare exchanges launched on October 1, more than three months ago and this data is still "unavailable."

Obamacare depends on young people to enter the exchanges in order for the system to work. Young, healthy people are needed to pay for older, sicker people in the program. Without a solid base of young people in the exchanges, health insurance premiums skyrocket and Obamacare eventually collapses.

Carney said the "mix" of ages of Obamacare enrollees is more important than the number of enrollees by March 1. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said last summer that the administration's goal is to have 7 million people signed up by the March 1 deadline. Today, Carney claimed the White House didn't come up with the 7 million number and blamed the estimate on the Congressional Budget Office.

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"A good mix is important, that includes young Americans. There are obviously campaigns underway to reach tese people," Carney said. "There's not some magic number."

Last month, Carney said Obamacare didn't need campaigns or advertisements to be successful or to sign people up for coverage.