Help Wanted: Pro Athletes to sell Obamacare
In 2010, the [Un]Affordable Care Act was passed into law. Since then, it has largely been unpopular with the American people. In 2010, it was key to the largest turnover in the House of Representatives in half a century, and in 2012 it garnered a great deal of opposition from those concerned with the fiscal and cultural futures of America.
With less than 100 days until the Act’s exchanges begin to kick into gear, implementation is way behind schedule. So what is the Administration doing? Rather than admit failure, it wants to bring the NBA and NFL in to help market the law to younger Americans:
The Obama administration has reached out to the NBA about a potential marketing partnership to promote the health law, POLITICO has learned.
The NBA declined to comment. A spokesman said, “We have nothing to announce at this time.”
It’s unclear whether a potential partnership would put big-name ballplayers — like James, the Miami Heat superstar — at the center of ad campaigns or whether it would be as modest as permitting the administration to affix the NBA logo onto marketing materials. An agreement itself isn’t even a slam dunk; Obamacare is partisan and controversial, and the NBA could decide it doesn’t want to go near it.
Why the NFL and NBA? Why, to attract young people to the law’s alleged benefits, in order to somehow try to make the thing semi-affordable:
Partnerships with sports organizations are especially promising to HHS because the department hopes large numbers of young, healthy men will enroll in the law’s new coverage options.
Attracting young, healthy people will help keep premiums from rising dramatically once the law begins offering new protections for more expensive patients — namely, banning insurance companies from discriminating against people with preexisting conditions.
The Boston Red Sox filmed a commercial promoting Massachusetts’s healthcare law when it took effect in 2006.
It’s not just sports stars that may hop on board this PR train to disaster:
Trevor Neilson, a veteran of the Clinton White House, said he’s in talks with the Obama administration and that his clients are “looking at ways to be involved.”
Neilson represents Eva Longoria, John Legend and many other stars as president of Global Philanthropy Group. His past clients have reportedly included Shakira and Madonna, and he has close ties to Bono and Bill Gates.
As the rollout of Obamacare continues to be on the brink of collapsing, it’s important the American people know the real facts about how the law increases the expense and expanse of government. Rather than rely on a taxpayer funded marketing campaign, though, we have to rely on each and every one of you to tell your neighbors, family members, and friends what’s really going on. Make sure they know this crock of a law is better off dying now, before it harms the nation beyond repair.