Dana Milbank bemoaned that young adults are not signing up for Obamacare [“Millennials unfriending Obama,” op-eds, March 16], suggesting that President Obama “failed to keep his youth movement engaged” and citing millennials’ lack of “ties to institutions.” The more likely reason is that it makes no economic sense for many healthy young adults to sign up for Obamacare. 

First, they don’t see the value of paying for insurance that they may not need and, considering high youth unemployment and underemployment rates, often cannot afford. Second, if they do develop health problems, they can sign up for insurance during the next enrollment period, since preexisting conditions no longer disqualify one from getting insurance. Third, the tax penalties, if any, for not enrolling are too small to encourage enrollment, especially for low-income people.

Millennials know a bad deal when they see it. No amount of marketing, sales efforts or presidential appearances on entertainment shows changes that. Self-interest trumps idealism and altruism every time.  

Robert Arias, Crownsville