March 11 2014

ObamaCare Update: White House Sends SOS to Moms

Patrice J. Lee

The Administration is coming full circle. After wasting tens of millions of taxpayer dollars on insulting bro-surance and ho-surance advertisements, expensive Superb Bowl and Olympic airtime, and celebrities, the Administration is turning to who they think are their strongest weapons in reaching young people for ObamaCare: moms.

We’ll see a big push this week by the White House to encourage mothers to get their “adult children” to enroll in ObamaCare with just over two weeks before the March 31 enrollment deadline. The campaign is dubbed “Mom Knows Best Week,” and we’ll see POTUS and FLOTUS making rounds at events and on forums targeting moms and female volunteers with the message that it’s time to get their children off the couch and onto ObamaCare.

The Administration has used the excuse that that young people have not enrolled because they are procrastinators. They think we look at signing up for healthcare like any term paper or science project and our plan is to wait until the last minute to get it done. So they’re tapping (helicopter) moms to prod us along, but this strategy will be as successful as Pajama Boy.

The Hill reports:

The White House spokesman was asked why the administration was spending the week targeting mothers in an enrollment push when women were among the president's strongest supporters during the 2012 election.

"We're not," [Jay] Carney said. "We're calling on moms to reach out to their adult children, get them off the couch and on the computer to enroll and make sure that they have quality affordable health insurance, because ... a lot of young folks, because they're young and healthy today, think they're invincible and are not fully aware of the need to have quality affordable health insurance because, you know, they're an accident away or an illness away from needing it very much."

The Administration’s PR efforts missed the mark by a long-shot. The binge-drinking and hook-up ads were terrible. Pajama Boy was an embarrassment. The parade of celebrities did little to convince us that buying ObamaCare is cool or interesting. They targeted us at parties, festivals and even outside of Footlocker. This all reveals that the Administration is out of touch with Millennials and is not as savvy at connecting with our generation as they were when trying to get the President (re)elected.

How many more clichés about young people will the Administration pull out? First, the President and First Lady refer to us as an oxymoronic term “adult children.” Are we not mature enough to make decisions for ourselves? By 18, there is very little (if anything) we need our parent’s signatures and permission for and that includes purchasing healthcare. Calling us “adult children” is just patronizing.

Second, they assume we are procrastinators. That is partially due to how enrollment went in Massachusetts when Romneycare came into being.

What’s most insulting is the assumption that young people are all sitting out home lounging on the couch all day. Some of us are entrepreneurs trying to pursue our dreams and passions by creating startups in the garage or coffee shops. Others are trekking to a job each day to scratch out a living, pay bills, repay student loans, and save for some of those life milestones that many have had to postpone like purchasing a first car, buying a home, getting married, and starting a family.

And yes, many young people are at home on the couch, but that’s not by choice. Some 36 percent of young adults between 18 and 31 are still living at home with their parents. It’s not because they like the free laundry service and home-cooked meals, but because the effective unemployment rate for Millennials is 15.8 percent. 1.9 million discouraged young workers have dropped out of the labor market because they can’t find a job. When you look at the specific demographic breakdowns, it’s heart-wrenching.

Young people want employment, not added healthcare costs that eat up our limited discretionary funds. Yet, the Administration is focused on salvaging the President’s signature legislation and reputation by trying to force us into ObamaCare.

Enrollments in ObamaCare are around 4 million, which is far shy of the 7 million target the Administration has always pursued –although they recently revised that down to six million. They need 39 percent of enrollments to be from the coveted 18-34 age range, but only about a quarter have signed up and the prospects don’t look good.

Instead of patronizing us, the Administration (and moms), should recognize that we are not children but adults and respect that we are quite capable of making quality decisions for ourselves and our situation. ObamaCare is a bad deal for young people. It forces young, healthy people to subsidize the costs of older, sicker Americans. There is no fairness in that. The message to the White House: We’re not kids and we’re not signing up.

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