Commentary Magazine


Topic: alcoholism

ObamaCare and the End of Civilization

For many conservatives, the advent of ObamaCare is nothing less than the thin edge of the wedge of socialism, as it subverts our freedom. There is a good argument to be made for that point of view and one that many in the middle class—who are the losers in the ObamaCare universe as they lose their policies and get bilked for new plans they don’t want at much higher premiums—are starting to understand. But when some on the right spoke of ObamaCare as if it was the end of civilization as we know it, most on the left just snickered. But now it appears those who were predicting the moral downfall of America weren’t entirely wrong. That’s the conclusion many have come to when they got a good look at the ads being run by a couple of liberal non-profit groups out to promote the president’s signature health-care legislation.

The “Got Insurance” campaign that has been launched by the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and Progress Now is aimed at convincing young adults, women, and minorities to sign up with ObamaCare. And, as Business Insider noted, the conceit of that effort is that the ads are so outrageous they are bound to go viral and thus spread the gospel of ObamaCare to its key target groups. While most young consumers are probably too smart to be sucked into the government health-care web in which they will be overcharged to pay for those who cannot afford any insurance, there’s no doubt the going viral part of the strategy worked. The ads advise those who see them that ObamaCare will, among other things, facilitate sexual hookups with attractive strangers or keep them healthy while they abuse alcohol. They may not be particular risqué by the standards of contemporary popular culture, but they do bring political discourse to a new low. While history will note that “If you like your health insurance, you can keep your health insurance” may be the most memorable phrase associated with ObamaCare, surely these “Brosurance” ads will be among its most memorable images when future generations try to figure out what exactly the 44th president tried to inflict on American society.

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For many conservatives, the advent of ObamaCare is nothing less than the thin edge of the wedge of socialism, as it subverts our freedom. There is a good argument to be made for that point of view and one that many in the middle class—who are the losers in the ObamaCare universe as they lose their policies and get bilked for new plans they don’t want at much higher premiums—are starting to understand. But when some on the right spoke of ObamaCare as if it was the end of civilization as we know it, most on the left just snickered. But now it appears those who were predicting the moral downfall of America weren’t entirely wrong. That’s the conclusion many have come to when they got a good look at the ads being run by a couple of liberal non-profit groups out to promote the president’s signature health-care legislation.

The “Got Insurance” campaign that has been launched by the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and Progress Now is aimed at convincing young adults, women, and minorities to sign up with ObamaCare. And, as Business Insider noted, the conceit of that effort is that the ads are so outrageous they are bound to go viral and thus spread the gospel of ObamaCare to its key target groups. While most young consumers are probably too smart to be sucked into the government health-care web in which they will be overcharged to pay for those who cannot afford any insurance, there’s no doubt the going viral part of the strategy worked. The ads advise those who see them that ObamaCare will, among other things, facilitate sexual hookups with attractive strangers or keep them healthy while they abuse alcohol. They may not be particular risqué by the standards of contemporary popular culture, but they do bring political discourse to a new low. While history will note that “If you like your health insurance, you can keep your health insurance” may be the most memorable phrase associated with ObamaCare, surely these “Brosurance” ads will be among its most memorable images when future generations try to figure out what exactly the 44th president tried to inflict on American society.

It’s not clear just how many 20-somethings saw these ads or were influenced by them. Since only 106,185 people enrolled in October (with only some of them actually finalizing their purpose), a fifth of what the government originally expected, it’s not likely too many of those looking for free condoms and assurances that their binges will not leave them paying for their own hospitalizations have signed on.

I know those who have no problem with this will say that this is how people live now and those who are squeamish about such messages should realize that we’re not living in the 1950s anymore. But it’s fair to ask if this is exactly what Americans thought they were getting when President Obama and congressional Democrats rammed this bill down the nation’s throats. Did those who succumbed to the liberal siren song of bringing insurance to the poor think that what the government was doing was an attempt to capitalize on anonymous sex and alcoholism? And what does it say about us as a nation that this is the level of discourse about health in our country and that supporters of the president are condoning social pathologies in order to trick young Americans into ObamaCare?

If 20 years ago, Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote of how society had defined deviancy down and therefore legitimized behaviors that were once considered outside the norm, it appears that ObamaCare has gone one step further.

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