The Olympic size marketing of Obamacare is ready to reach you by TV, Tweets, and posts.
That's if you are from the generation of the young and healthy.
Let's face it; the government badly needs young and healthy Americans, so-called Invincibles, to enroll in Obamacare to defray the costs for those older and in need of health care. Health and Human Services (HHS) is attempting to stop the implosion that may happen in this economic model of health care management. At least 40 percent must be enrollees in the 18- to 34-year-old age group. Simply put, the only way for this to work is for more participants to pay, as opposed to people who draw from insurance and subsidies.
Holiday pajama discussions and AARP postcards encouraging family enrollment did not yield targeted results. Without the Invincibles enrolling and paying into the plan, the money will need to come from... somewhere. Either premiums will skyrocket or tax dollars will need to provide risk assistance to insurance companies, period. Built into Obamacare is a "risk corridor" that is gaining steam. This is a bailout provision, a safety net for the insurance industry paid for by American taxpayers.
Young Americans have been called unpatriotic and out of touch with their civic duties, choosing to pay tax penalties instead of purchasing health insurance. They claim that is much more affordable than to pay the premiums and high deductibles.
Washington finds it necessary to target market Obamacare during some of the most expensive and exclusive air time, the Winter Olympics in Russia.
HHS has not disclosed how much they will spend on marketing or how often over the three weeks of the Winter Olympic games, February 7 through 23, 2013. But what we do know, according to HHS spokesperson Joanne Peters, they are "ramping up education and outreach efforts to drive enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace as part of a sustained, aggressive campaign for the duration of open enrollment."
HHS won't confirm the advertising statistics but it is clearly our right to know.
A cost estimate: Olympic advertising air time is an estimated average of $725,000 for a 30 second spot in the prime advertising time (based on 2012 statistics).
The National Football League was offered the opportunity to market Obamacare. They collectively declined but the Baltimore Ravens have decided to play, getting paid $130,000 by the Maryland Health Care Exchange taxpayers. They will tweet, post, and advertise the benefits of Obamacare on their website. They also have a post-season option. The Pittsburgh Steelers and former players plan to sign on as well.
There is a rap parody by the group "Get Covered" funded by Get Covered America, arm of Enroll America, a formal website that links to Obamacare enrollment. Iman Crosson, a President Obama lookalike raps...
"So don't stand and diddle, my healthcare's the 'shizzle' It's chock full of top notch healthcare 'provizzles' We'll cover all you're 'vizzles,' your 'dizzles,' AND your 'tizzles Now while you figure that out, it's back to that 'chorizzle'"
"When I'm in the Oval Office
"Call me President Barack, President Barack, President Barack
"When my critics get an attitude
"I tell 'em to stop, I tell 'em to stop, I tell 'em to stop
"And if you need that new health care
"Sign up 'cause it's hot, sign up 'cause it's hot, sign up 'cause it's hot."
Will this help the millennials to decide whether to purchase healthcare or pay a penalty?
"The truth will be known with statistics to come, don't want to hurt your feelin"
"I'm sayin' weigh your options and deductibles"
"It may affect your bears and bulls"
"Just sayin' My name is Baby Boom, call me Boom, I said Boom"
Despite no reported basis for health care expertise, many Hollywood elites are tweeting, posting, and touting the benefits of Obamacare. Celebs include Jennifer Hudson, Olivia Wilde, Lady Gaga, John Legend, Amy Poehler, Marlon Wayans to name a few. Not sure how they have become health care experts but they are marketing their health care "expertise" nonetheless.
Health and Human Services has finally released long awaited statistics from the end of the year 2013.
• Only 18 percent of the goal of 2.7 million young and healthy (ages 18 to 34) has been reached. This is required for stable premiums and subsidies.
• 80 percent of the enrollees received financial assistance.
It is clear, the HHS needs significantly more paying customers by the extended deadline of March 31. The "risk corridor" option may gain steam soon.
Truth in advertising laws are clear and particularly tough on health care marketing. Any one of these alleged experts could and should be challenged on their marketing material. It is just the right thing to do when spending the $684 million marketing budget to the American people. "Just sayin', Boom."