Who’s really surprised that the young aren’t signing up for the exchanges?

by Ryan Streeter on November 5, 2013. Follow Ryan on Twitter.

From today’s front-page WSJ story on who’s signing up on the Obamacare exchanges:

Insurers say the early buyers of health coverage on the nation’s troubled new websites are older than expected so far, raising early concerns about the economics of the insurance marketplaces (emphasis added).

The “older than expected line” is also in the article’s headline. I’ve heard this line and its variations uttered quite a bit on mainstream news outlets the past week, too.

It raises the question: expected by whom? For at least 3 years now, many commentators have been warning that young people didn’t have sufficient incentives to sign up on the Obamacare exchanges. I think a good many people across the country actually expected exactly what’s happening now. There’s nothing surprising about it.