is the president of Generation Opportunity in Arlington, Va.
President Obama has a problem with millennials.
We brought the votes and the noise in 2012: 63 percent of my generation voted for Obama in Pennsylvania, according to CNN exit polls. But the honeymoon is officially over.
Young Americans were once the most enthusiastic supporters of Obamacare, but now we are the law's most ardent foes. The latest poll from the Harvard Institute of Politics shows that 57 percent of people between 18 and 29 disapprove of this law - and only 13 percent of my generation "definitely" plan on signing up.
What turned us against the law we once liked? Reality.
When Obamacare finally came a-knockin' in October, our government gave us a choice between having our pockets picked and opting out. Guess which one we chose.
It was the right decision. Obamacare hurts millennials more than it helps us. Look at what it does to our wallets. After the exchanges opened, we found that the average premium for an average 27-year-old had increased dramatically in Pennsylvania.
The increases weren't chump change, either. In Pennsylvania, premiums went up by 167 percent, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. That's an extra $122 every month on average. All told, we're now paying almost $2,000 a year. And millennials in the commonwealth are not alone - our peers saw rate hikes in 45 states. That's a total rip-off.
We're already struggling with an average $35,000 in student loans, our average income is much lower than our parents' and grandparents', and our unemployment rate is more than twice the national average, at nearly 16 percent. We need every extra penny we can save - and yet Obamacare fleeces us on a monthly basis.
Either the White House hasn't noticed this inconvenient truth or it's unwilling to admit it. Either way, the administration is covering it up with a flashy new public relations campaign. The best example is Health and Human Services' recent competition that spent millions of dollars begging millennials to make positive videos and songs about Obamacare.
The winning entry was announced this month - and it couldn't have been more out of touch. It was a catchy song that urged millennials to "Forget about the price tag" and just sign up. The person who wrote those lyrics might be able to heed her own advice - she won $30,000 for her puff piece - but the rest of us aren't so lucky.
Once that tactic failed, the president reached out to us himself. The White House "youth summit" targeted 18- to 35-year-old activists. They were told that "stuff that's worth it is always hard," and that "at the end of the day," we'd "think it's worth it."
The sentiment is nice, but what's more important is what was left unsaid. The unspoken truth is that the exchanges won't be able to make ends meet without our money. The onus is on us to subsidize the system, regardless of whether we can afford it.
The president doesn't mention that. Instead, he tells us that he knows better than we do how we should spend our money and live our lives.
Treating us like children won't persuade us to sign on to a bad deal. We're smart enough to know that we have other options, such as purchasing insurance from the private market that gives us the coverage we want at a price we can afford. As for Obamacare, we're just not buying what the president's selling.