Jumping at any opportunity to promote HeatlhCare.gov, the administration has now seized upon March Madness and the NCAA Basketball Tournament to encourage 18-35 year-olds to sign up for costly coverage that many do not want. The pressure is on, especially as the March 31 deadline quickly approaches and enrollment continues to lag with both the youth in general and Hispanics in particular. But sport-related gimmicks and childish GIFs won’t work on us.
Putting aside for the moment that coverage under ObamaCare is unlikely to be a good deal for most young people, “The 16 Sweetest Reasons to Get Covered” webpage itself is nothing short of insulting to the target audience. The 16 different GIFs that visitors can share on Twitter or Facebook range from a waddling duck, to a dunking Michelle Obama, and several images of cats – because that is what us “knucklehead” millennials must need to realize that the ACA is good for us, right?
The sophomoric graphics propagate the same tired, misleading claims that we have heard all along but know are not true, such as “Birth Control is Free” and “Insurance Companies Can’t Discriminate.” The truth is, everyone pays for ‘free’ birth control in the form of higher premiums, and insurance companies have already begun to ‘discriminate’ by modifying plans to limit doctors within each network. Apparently the administration believes that attaching these misleading claims to silly images is all it will take to fool us.
But fool us they won’t. These tactics do not seem to be working, especially within the demographics that are relied upon to participate. Hispanics are a young group. With a median age of 27, they are a full 10 years younger than the population overall – but a recent Gallup poll shows that the Hispanic uninsured are enrolling at one of the lowest rates of 37.9%. While the percentage of uninsured in other categories has been dropping (for example, those making less than $36,000 has dropped almost 3% since 2013), the same statistic for Hispanics has barely budged, decreasing by just .8%.
GIFs are widely shared and popular for a reason – but they have their time and place. When it comes to coverage raw deal like the one millennials are receiving under Obamacare, and the very real harm that the Affordable Care Act is having on our overall health care system in the United States, simple and honest information from our government is all we want, but unfortunately aren’t getting.