‘Cool story, bro’

brobamacareI love my home state of Colorado. I love that it tries to be all edgy and real — you know, with all the hippies and hipsters, the cool craft breweries and the legal marijuana.

And now, the cool Obamacare ads. Or should I say the Brobamacare ads.

An effort to popularize the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act endorses keg stands and binge drinking as much as it does health insurance.

From the folks at Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and ProgressNow Colorado Education, the series of ads oddly attempts to connect with the bros of the state to persuade them to buy health insurance.

My favorite, which has two “bros” holding up a third ”bro” for a keg stand, reads:  “Brosurance: Keg stands are crazy. Not having health insurance is crazier. Don’t tap into your beer money to cover those medical bills. We got it covered. Now you can too. Thanks Obamacare!”

I typically hate bros (and of course promoting binge — and looks like underage? — drinking) and am reluctant on Obamacare, so imagine how I feel about the ads.

Now, it’s not HHS putting these out the ads. But it’s still embarrassing to the administration that’s trying so hard to promote something that’s supposed to be serious and life-changing to our country’s health care system.

(And plus, this is insulting as a member of Gen Y. Hard-partying, irresponsible youths? Is this really how we are seen? Thanks a lot!)

With these kinds of ads, celebrity endorsements, and oh yeah, an embarrassing exchange launch that has shows no signs of recovery, it’s hard to take any of this seriously.

Speaking of, we’re three weeks into the exchanges, and though there have been half-apologies, there haven't been details on the scope of the IT problems or a timeline for the websites’ needed repairs.

Now analysts warn that if problems aren’t really fixed in a few weeks — and it doesn’t look like they will be — then the law’s troubles will go much deeper than public perception. Without successful enrollment, Obamacare could fall short on targets and the balance between healthy and unhealthy consumers, which might result in hefty premium hikes.

Hours-long waits and website crashes are deterring many from going through with enrollment. If it’s a healthier individual who is having trouble signing on, then he may skip it altogether. But the sicker individual who relies on coverage will sign up — again distorting our health insurance pool.

Forget public perception of the law — these are real, serious problems.

For all the bros — and everyone else — that hard dose of reality may result in one hell of a hangover.

About the Author
Kathryn Mayer

Kathryn Mayer

Kathryn Mayer is Managing Editor for Benefits Selling magazine. She can be reached at kmayer@sbmedia.com

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