“OMG, he’s hot!”
“Let’s hope he’s as easy to get as this birth control.”
“My health insurance covers the pill, which means all I have to worry about is getting him between the covers.”
Sounds like an ad for a phone sex line, doesn’t it? Or at least, more benignly, a Saturday Night Live caricature of the sales rollout for the Affordable Care Act.
If only! It’s actually – seriously — the wording of one a new series of ads being run in Colorado to encourage young women to sign up for Obamacare!
Another one appeals to young men thusly:
“Keg stands are crazy.”
“Not having health insurance is crazier.”
“Don’t tap into your beer money to cover those medical bills. We got it covered.
Now you can too.”
So this is what it’s come to.
As Obamacare, aka the Affordable Care Act — which was going to usher in a new health care utopia, with universal, affordable access for all – continues to unravel, its promoters are reduced to appeals to their lowest common denominator: selling sex and booze to the nation’s youth.
“Young Americans, we know you’re totally self-absorbed and irresponsible,” is the message. “So make sure you sign up for your free birth control, and don’t waste any of your beer money on medical care. Let the taxpayers cover that for you, so you can partaay away!”
Is this the low opinion the Obamacare folks have of America’s young women and men? Sure, there are the Sandra Flukes of the world, insisting that she couldn’t possibly have navigated her way through law school without dragging the American taxpayer into her bedroom, to supply her with birth control. And there is – and will always be – that element of American youth who are out-of-control in their use of booze and drugs. But are those who the president and his supporters think constitute the vast majority of America’s youth? Is that their stereotype when they contemplate how to market Obamacare to the young adult demographic?
To be sure, the organizations responsible for these ads — ProgressNow Colorado and Colorado Consumer Health Initiative — insist that their private nonprofit organizations have never received government funding, and that this ad campaign was paid for with donations and individual contributions, like their organizations. They also denied association with state agencies. We’ll take them at their word for now, although it will be interesting to follow further developments in this part of the story. (Wonder if the IRS will subject these organizations to the kind of illegal scrutiny it has used on conservative, pro-family and pro-life organizations in recent years!)
But one would have expected to find the president and his supporters roundly condemning this ad campaign, not only for its sexism and degradation of young men and women, but also because of how it trivializes the truly important goals of health care reform, and thereby further demeans the Affordable Care Act, the signature legislation of the Obama administration.
Perhaps, if the Obamacare rollout were going better, they could have been quicker to condemn this offensive promotional strategy. But as the weeks turn into months, and disaster follows upon disaster – the millions without health care who were the plan’s targeted beneficiaries are not flocking to sign up; those who do try still can’t get into the system, and when they do, often find the plans too expensive; millions of others are losing plans they were happy with, and likewise either can’t get or can’t afford an Obamacare substitute, or are finding that what is available doesn’t meet their needs.
In these circumstances, perhaps Obamacare promoters view as their only remaining viable market that small segment of American youth who are fixated on their sex and booze.
That doesn’t seem like what the vast majority of health care reform supporters thought they were signing up for when Obamacare became law. If this kind of advertising is all they have left, the program has truly hit rock bottom.