February 4 2014

New ObamaCare Ads Target Millennial Women

Patrice J. Lee

First, the Administration recruited Amy Poehler and Jennifer Hudson to peddle ObamaCare. Then came the bro-surance and ho-surance ads featuring boozie, hookup-loving young people. And let’s not forget Pajama Boy. Now, the Administration is toting out cats and dogs. What’s next? Laughing babies?

From one desperate failed PR strategy to another, the Administration is grasping at straws in an effort to get young people to enroll in ObamaCare. And so far –surprise! Surprise! – nothing is working.

Today, the Administration is launching a new ad campaign targeting female Millennials in hopes that not only will we sign up for ObamaCare, but will convince our significant others to enroll as well. Enrollments among this demographic are well below expectations, and that’s a problem for a healthcare insurance system that relies on young, healthy people to pay the costs for older, sicker Americans.

USA Today reports:

A multimillion-dollar Affordable Care Act advertising campaign launches today targeting young women, who are more likely to enroll in health insurance and are the best hope for signing up their more risk-oriented male counterparts, backers say.

The campaign by the non-profit advocacy group Enroll America uses pets to reach its audience and launches with less than two months to go before the March 31 deadline for enrollment. Enroll America says about 81% of the public doesn't know about the deadline and 69% of people don't know that financial help is available to those with incomes below 400% of the poverty level.

Enroll America President Anne Filipic says the cats, dogs, birds and other pets featured in the ads "help break through the clutter" and are sure to resonate with the public. She cites statistics showing more than 60% of homes have a pet and more than half of female pet owners would risk their lives for their pets.

 So pets are going to sell young women on what is a bad deal for them? Am I the only young woman who’s insulted by this?

That the Administration is tapping PR agencies like Razorfish for this campaign and spending millions of our taxpayer dollars continues to expose their nervousness about missing their enrollment targets –especially of young people.

As a reminder, by March 31 all Americans are required to provide evidence to the government they have healthcare coverage or face a penalty thanks to ObamaCare’s individual mandate. The Administration expected to enroll 7 million Americans by this date with some 2.7 million (about 40 percent) being 18-34 year olds. To date, they claim 3 million Americans have signed up for private coverage through the federal and state exchanges and another 6.3 million are eligible for Medicaid coverage. Interestingly, we don’t know how many of these people are previously uninsured or just unfortunate Americans who lost their coverage because of ObamaCare.

Again and again, we make the point that Americans are not flocking to sign up for ObamaCare because they recognize a bad deal when they see one.  ObamaCare is expensive. On average a 30-year-old would see his health insurance costs rise in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

For a generation that faces a 16 percent effective unemployment rate; is straddled with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt; and has to postpone milestones like moving out of our parents’ homes, purchasing a house or car, getting married, and starting families; ObamaCare places an added burden on our shoulders.

Puppies are cute and kittens pull at the heart strings, but young people are smart enough to do the math for themselves. Higher premiums and deductibles are not attractive.

The President and ObamaCare advocates need a dose of reality that the problem is not with (young) Americans but with this broad, sweeping legislation that does little to reform the health care system for the better and does a lot to harm regular Americans.

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