Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The ObamaCare Ads Keep Getting Worse

Several weeks ago, I wrote a post about some of the outrageous ObamaCare advertisements that have been produced. Today, I feel the need to write a follow-up review of some new, even more absurd ads.

Organizing for America has launched a campaign called “Healthcare For The Holidays”, wherein they encourage people to discuss the new healthcare options with their loved ones over family holiday gatherings. There’s even a page on the site where people can “Pledge to Have the Talk”.

I must admit, this is a very clever advertising strategy. Mobilizing the citizenry to sell the new plan while making them feel helpful and important is a smart way to build support.  While the online portion of this campaign may prove effective, I do not think the results will be as favorable. I’m not sure about your families, dear readers, but if people started discussing the pros and cons of ObamaCare at my grandmother’s Christmas dinner, someone would likely get kicked out and my mother would end up crying.

The photos that go along with this campaign do little to assuage my misgivings. President Obama posted this on Twitter yesterday:


In real life, I try not to judge people based on their appearance. But in advertising, specific choices are made because appearance is the key to the success of an ad. This photo shows a college-age boy, dressed in a manner typical of the “hipster” subculture. The message here, then, is that ObamaCare is hip and trendy? Sorry, but I need to see facts, not social implications. I have met many people that would fit in perfectly with the young man in this ad, and they are very often exceedingly left-leaning. Unfortunately, I have little faith in the persuasive ability of an able bodied adult whose plans for the holidays is to wear a fuzzy onesie, drink cocoa, and convince people of the merits of ObamaCare. Once again, I draw from personal experience when I say that wouldn’t go over too well in my house. (And my parents are liberals!)
This photo has gotten a wide range of feedback in the day since its release, but by far my favourite is that of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie:

Voluntary charity, community spirit, and a proactive attitude. Yes, Governor Christie, I agree this is a far better way to spend the holiday season.

While this new campaign is likely to result in little more than quite a few family arguments, there is another group that is producing much more distressing advertisements.

Out2Enroll is “a coalition of organizations who want to help lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people stay healthy by making sure that one of the major benefits of the Affordable Care Act – access to affordable, comprehensive health insurance coverage – reaches LGBT communities” . Before voicing any concerns about their advertising techniques, I must first comment on the questionable nature of this entire organization. Why is it at all necessary for there to be a specific group related to the LGBT community’s access to ObamaCare? If it is needed for them, do other groups require it as well? Should we expect to see specific organizations for Hispanics, African Americans, or women cropping up in the near future? I think this will only serve to overcomplicate the already intensely convoluted Affordable Care Act.

Putting aside for the moment the questionable necessity of this program, I have some concerns about the way in which Out2Enroll is promoting its cause. The following is a video released by the organization:


**Pauses a moment for readers to recover from the shock of seeing that video**

This ad is supposed to encourage members of the LGBT community to get covered under ObamaCare. Okay, Out2Enroll, so that’s what you think will entice the gay community? Glad you think they’re all so horrendously trashy. Yes, it says right in the video description that it is “a holiday parody, produced by our friends at Full Frontal Freedom” but immediately goes on to note that it “aims to bring awareness to the final week of health marketplace enrollment”.  In other words, yes they’re being funny, but they honestly do think it’ll encourage LGBT people to look further into ObamaCare.

I hope that most people, regardless of sexual orientation, have enough modesty and prudence to find this over the top, and completely ineffective as an advertisement. I love funny commercials! Here, look at this one! But men wearing sexy holiday underwear and dancing provocatively to a Christmas carol about healthcare is just plain icky.

Even more importantly, however, it plays into negative stereotypes about the gay community. Beyond being not clever, this video is just plain rude. I hope that LGBT people tell Out2Enroll that this isn’t how to get through to them or help to support them.

As more and more outrageous ObamaCare ads surface, I find myself wondering what sort of a campaign would catch my interest. I wouldn’t need music or cute outfits or appeals to popular things; I’d need facts. The utter lack of facts in all of these ads is just further proof that behind the fuzzy pajamas and Christmas ornaments, this legislation is riddled with severe, debilitating problems.

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