Monday, 18 November 2013

Ads Use Casual Sex, Drinking to Promote ObamaCare to Young People

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Supporters of ObamaCare have resorted to what some critics say is sleazy advertising in an effort to convince young people to sign up for the socialized healthcare program. In one ad, produced by ProgressNow Colorado and the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, a young woman holding a packet of birth control pills can be seen standing next to a young man. The ad includes the tagline “Let's Get Physical," and has the woman thinking: “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.”

A similar ad shows two young people dressed for a night out, with the man thinking: “Hey girl, you're excited about easy access to birth control, and I'm excited about getting to know you.” Both ads end with the line, “Thanks Obamacare,” and a referral to the website, doyougotinsurance.com, which features an entire array of similar ads, along with the lead-in text: “Thanks to Obamacare, Colorado has a new online insurance marketplace called 'Connect for Health Colorado.' This new marketplace is where you can easily compare health insurance plans, find financial assistance that could help you purchase coverage, and get the plan that's right for you.”

The obvious intent of the ad campaign is to attract young people not inclined to consider the ramifications of the impending disaster of the federally mandated “affordable” healthcare. Critics say that among other problems, the ads variously demean women and promote irresponsible behavior such as alcohol abuse and casual sex.

One particularly low-minded ad features a trio of young men who should already have outgrown the party scene, posing around a beer keg, glasses raised, with the lines: “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. Thanks, Obamacare!” (Here another with the same theme.)

Amy Runyon-Harms of ProgressNow Colorado defended the advertisements, explaining that the “whole intention of these ads is to raise awareness, and that's what we're doing. It's great that more and more people are talking about it.”

Adam Fox of the partner Colorado Consumer Health Initiative quipped that “it's been fun to watch how it all plays out. We've seen both positive and negative reactions, but if people are seeing the ads and purchasing health insurance, that's a good thing.” He explained that in creating the strategy his group “wanted to come up with a campaign that would attract attention and inject a bit of humor, and try to approach educating people about health insurance a little bit differently. It was really just brainstorming, 'OK, what are some of those risky activities we could work with that would tie it all together?'”

Referring to the ad featuring the woman holding the birth control pills and thinking about a one-night-stand, Fox insisted that “birth control and reproductive health care in general are really fundamental components of health care coverage and it’s really important for people of reproductive age, and in particular, some of the young adults that we’re trying to target with this campaign. The ad really just shows a woman making a choice that’s right for her and taking control of her health care.”

But Kelly Maher of Compass Colorado, a conservative group which promotes limited government and free enterprise, said the ads were little more than an effort to distract from the fact that many Coloradans are losing good insurance under the train wreck of ObamaCare. “This ad campaign is desperately trying to distract from the fact that exchange sign-ups have essentially ground to a halt,” Maher said in a statement. “While nearly a quarter of a million Coloradans have had their plans cancelled, ProgressNow Colorado and Colorado Consumer Health Initiative are demeaning and belittling women with shallow sexual caricatures and making light of serious women's health issues.”

Referring to the ad campaign's assumption that a majority of young women in Colorado want insurance that offers free birth control so they can engage in casual sex, Nathan Harden of National Review pointed out that “the Obamacare ads reveal what a low estimate of intelligence the left has for young women. The Obama administration and its supporters should be aware that there are millions of American women who want affordable health insurance that works and doesn’t rob them of choices.”

Harden added that what most Colorado women (along with tens of millions of other hard-working Americans) don't want “is a broken down wreck of a law, sold with lies that you could keep your insurance but that in fact has led to the cancellation of millions of people’s insurance policies and produced a non-functional $700-million website supported by a bunch of ads that limit a woman’s horizons to a goofy grin over a pack of pills and the desperate hope that some guy will be easy to get 'between the covers.'"

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