The awkwardly-named Generation Opportunity has launched a bizarre ad campaign in attempts to warn young women of the dangers of ObamaCare. While the Affordable Care Act does provide women with no-cost preventive health visits, contraceptives, and domestic violence counseling, all of that is apparently canceled out by the possibility that, if you sign up for any ObamaCare programs, your gynecologist will be replaced by a deranged lunatic in a Halloween mask.
“The Exam,” as the ad is called, begins with a young woman walking down a hospital hallway with a nurse. “I see you’ve decided to sign up for ObamaCare,” the nurse intones ominously as she leads the patient into an examination room. The young woman changes into a gown, puts her feet up on the stirrups, and then—here’s the kicker—she’s greeted not by a doctor, but a nightmarish-looking Uncle Sam.
“Don’t let government play doctor,” the on-screen text urges. “Opt-out of ObamaCare.” The ad ends with Uncle Sam staring into the camera as he grasps a speculum.
A few things: First of all, the notion that people should “opt-out” of ObamaCare is disingenuous; it’s a reference to the health exchanges, but those are opt-in, not opt-out. Nobody is getting enrolled in them automatically. Secondly, the website falsely implies that if you don’t buy into the exchanges, you’ll be subject to the individual mandate penalty. That also isn’t true; the mandate penalty (or tax, according to the Supreme Court) applies to a subset of people who don’t have health insurance at all but can afford it — not to everybody who foregoes the exchanges.
In short, then, there isn’t really anything to opt out of. More importantly, though, what are these ads really trying to say? We understand that the idea is to make ObamaCare seem scary and invasive. For people already opposed to the law, these videos (there’s a male equivalent featuring a proctologist) might be worth a laugh, or at least a chortle. But don’t they preach to the choir? Does anybody actually think that signing up for ObamaCare will literally result in a guy in an Uncle Sam costume performing medical examinations? If not, then what point, exactly, are the videos trying to make?
The ads augment efforts on the part of congressional Republicans to defund the law. We can’t imagine either campaign will be successful, but as the Republican party seems incapable of accepting the legitimacy of the ACA — despite it having been passed by a supermajority in Congress and upheld by the Supreme Court — we’re not surprised at the continued efforts.
Watch the ad for yourself:
Oh, and here's the man-version: