Colorado’s online insurance marketplace called Connect For Health Colorado is making news once again. Last month the federally funded marketplace featured an advertisement with young guys doing keg stands and having a great old time. Dubbed as “brosurance”, the selling point is that these guys won’t have to worry about cutting back on their beer money in order to receive “affordable” healthcare. That’s a far cry from having to choose between paying for insurance and buying groceries that has become the reality for some.
This week, the same federally funded marketplace released another advertisement selling the idea that now that it’s easier to be promiscuous since Obamacare provides free birth control. Sure, there are men and women who are being dropped from their insurance and can’t afford Obamacare while battling cancer; but that’s OK. Women can live it up and bed anyone they wish, all with no regrets. The war on women has been won!
These two advertisements aren’t the exception in a group of ads meant to encourage people to enroll in Colorado’s insurance marketplace; they’re actually the rule. The website, Got Insurance? is where you can buy insurance and it features 21 ads that are designed to show how great life can be under Obamacare. The ads encourage people to engage in risky behavior and expensive hobbies because Obamacare covers their insurance. Very few of the ads show legitimate cases where one would need healthcare (pregnant woman, children with injuries, mother and sick child, and man on bicycle). Instead it shows how great it is to have Obamacare so you can still afford your gym memberships, and golf outings; or thanks to Obamacare you can now afford expensive gear and climb K2.
Looking at all these ads, I’m reminded of the 1972 movie Cabaret. I got a chance to see it recently and it really struck me how we’re making the same mistakes as the Germans during the Weimar Republic. Far too many Americans are oblivious to what is actually going on in the nation. They’re very self-absorbed and focused on having fun and feeling good while someone else bears the burden for their lifestyle choices. Debauchery is encouraged instead of frowned upon and a blind eye is turned to what the government does so long as the low-information voters continue to partake in bread and circuses. When things go wrong (and they always do) there is always a scapegoat. Any failings of Obamacare have been blamed on the Republicans because the administration felt opposition pressure from the GOP and didn’t test the website like they should.
If history serves correctly, the Weimar didn’t fare well. In fact it transitioned into something far worse. Sure, it might sound overly dramatic to equate this one website to the fall of our civilization but it’s just another straw on the camel’s back. It may not be the one that breaks the back, but it adds to the heavy burden many of us who have to pay the bills will have to endure. But who cares? Live it up and have fun while it lasts. And don’t be so darn judgmental or you’ll be labeled as one of those scapegoated haters.
Life is a cabaret old chum!