LOS ANGELES, March 21, 2014—The Obama administration’s last gasp marketing efforts to encourage Young Invincibles to sign up by March 31 reek of desperation. This move comes despite the rosy projections of 5 million Obamacare enrollees reported by Health and Human Services, and yesterday’s appearance by President Obama on cheerleader Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show.
The fact that the President’s March 11 appearance with Zach Galifianakis on Funny or Die’s “Between Two Ferns” was criticized and lampooned on both sides of the aisle has not deterred the administration from its madcap strategy. White House spokesman Jay Carney boasted about the video generating record referrals to the Healthcare.gov website. However, site hits do not necessarily translate into sign-ups, and since the administration has been so shifty about keeping track of these numbers, one can only assume the percentage of hits versus actual enrollments has been minimal.
A December Harvard Institute of Politics poll found that 57 percent of young adults don’t support Obamacare. The fact that only 25 percent of the 18-34 year-old population have signed up on the exchanges is a clear indicator of this. The Obama administration appears cavalier, arguing that they expect young people to sign up at the last minute. However, the ad money wasted on ridiculous campaigns is another barometer; and the needle is hovering just above frantic.
So far the Obamacare marketing gimmicks to encourage Generation Y to get covered have ranged from anemic to ridiculous. Everything from singing animals; porta-potty ads; a “bros and hoes” ad buy; NFL football tie-ins with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens; pub crawls; Pajama boy; Mom guilt; and the real head scratcher: recruiting 80’s celebrities and sports stars like Richard Simmons, Magic Johnson, and N’Sync’s Lance Bass. All of these campaigns have been churned out, and either roundly lambasted, or wholly ignored.
If the target audience were Generation X, stars from the 80’s would make sense. The only thing Millennials know about Magic and Lance is that one bought the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the other used to sing with Justin Timberlake. Whoever came up with the idea of Richard Simmons as a good marketing spokesperson deserves to be fired.
The Washington, D.C.-based Young Invincibles, a nonprofit specifically organized to get Millennials to sign up for health insurance, recently launched its “Healthy Young America Apps Sweepstakes”. The group is awarding a cash prize of $1,200 to people who download their health care app or submit a card in the mail. This amount would roughly cover the premiums for a young person for one year; so basically, this taxpayer-funded propaganda arm is using your dollars to bribe young Americans into signing up. Perhaps desperate is the wrong word—atrocious seems much more fitting.
Besides the young people who are simply ignoring these pathetic efforts, others are biting back and saying, “Enough”.
Generation Opportunity President Evan Feinberg took to the Las Vegas Review-Journal to let the President know that, “We’re young, but we aren’t stupid”:
“Our only remaining option is to opt out of Obamacare entirely. If the latest numbers are any indication, that’s exactly what Millennials in Nevada are doing. We know a bad deal when we see one —and we’re not as dumb as Obamacare’s marketers seem to think.”
Young Pat Kane took to YouTube to express his displeasure at Michelle Obama’s going on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in February and calling young people “knuckleheads”. Kane did a brutal comparison/contrast between what his generation accomplishes, and what the president has not, then deliciously ends on this scathing take down:
“So next time you decide to disparage an entire generation on national television, keep this in mind: we already have parents—so we don’t need the government trying to be our second ones or your broken health care to survive; we’re doing fine on our own.”
If Pat Kane and Evan Feinberg are representative of the Young Invincibles that have not signed up for Obamacare, it’s high time to put the law on death watch.
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