Opportunity Generation

From the Wire—What Matters Now

How to Make Opting Out of Obamacare Cool

Allie Jones

Generation Opportunity, the Koch-funded group urging young people to “opt out” of Obamacare, has spent a lot of time trying to appear cool. More time, perhaps, than they’ve spent researching their assertion that Obamacare is a “bad deal” for millenials. When we interviewed GenOpp comms director David Pasch in October, he admitted the group was still “working on” the math to back up that claim.

Nevertheless, GenOpp has pushed forward, throwing booze-fueled tailgates at colleges across the country to spread their “opt out” message. They have their logo emblazoned across the koozies, bottle openers, and sunglasses they pass out to undergrads every weekend. They bring a beer pong table to each event. GenOpp’s mascot, Creepy Uncle Sam, gladly poses for photos with half-naked co-eds. 

And now, GenOpp announces that it will join Snapchat, a popular photo-sharing app among youths. Snapchat is often used to send nude photos (since the images “disappear” after 10 seconds). The group announced the move with a Youtube video that’s a play on the House of Cards Season 2 teaser. Instead of Robin Wright seductively dragging on a cigarette, it’s Creepy Uncle Sam. (GenOpp’s betraying their Beltway influence here. No one outside of Capitol Hill thinks House of Cards is cool.) Interested parties can find GenOpp at “creepyuncle.sam” on Snapchat. 

Though Pasch and GenOpp President Evan Feinberg insist they don’t have the cash to fully research why Obamacare is a “bad deal” for young people, they’ve certainly spent enough on this coolness campaign. And the “here’s some pizza” strategy seems to be working on default-Republican undergrads who don’t care to learn any more about Obamacare than they already know. Francesca Chambers at The Weekly Standard reports this exchange that happened at Notre Dame over the weekend:

Two [students], Sarah and Shannon, … said they consider themselves Republicans, but hadn’t heard about the tailgate. A Generation Opportunity staffer with pizza … “was like, ‘We have two cars full of pizza, do you want some?’ And we’re like, ‘Sure, we’ll follow!’” said Shannon, who was familiar with the group’s Creepy Uncle Sam ads.

“The pizza’s a big plus,” Sarah added. “I mean I’m Republican, and my family’s Republican, and my grandpa is like, ‘Do you know anything about what’s going on?’ And I don’t because I haven’t kept up with anything. But whatever [GenOpp’s] doing, I’d be interested in learning more.”

GenOpp claims that young people could simply pay the fine for not enrolling in Obamacare and then purchase cheap, catastrophic coverage on the private insurance market. The claim isn’t backed up by any hard numbers, and as we’ve noted before, it doesn’t really make sense — most insurance companies are canceling plans that don’t comply with the ACA. Further, if young people don’t buy an Obamacare plan, they disqualify themselves from receiving subsidies that would make their coverage cheaper. 

So it seems the message some undergrads are taking away from the GenOpp campaign is to opt out of health insurance altogether. Notre Dame pre-med student Stephen Fox told Chambers, “Young people don’t need [health insurance] —the majority that is — I mean we’re all healthy.”

Pretty cool. 


11 responses to “Opportunity Generation

  1. I found the first video amusing because that’s the way the government was basically working to get as many people to sign up for obamacare. I know nothing is fair, but it’s really unfair to impose such high costs on the young. Obamacare is just one big scam!

  2. The first video is really funny the guy kinda looks like shaggy from scoopy doo. It also makes great points how the government keeps insisting to get Obama care they pretty much force the people because it benefits them. I know that everyone must get health insurance now because if not they would have to pay it when taxes come in again. What happen to being free.

  3. This was really creepy.
    I don’t pay to much attention to what goes on in the world or watch tv really but its sad to see what we are going through.

  4. I really appreciate the opt out campaign. So many of my friends are so focused on seeing Obama as the “cool and funny” President that they just signed up for Obamacare without thinking and then tried to pressure everyone else to sign up for it as well. Health care is serious and nobody should be pressured into any plan they cannot afford or do not feel is right for them. There are so many options out there and I think people forget that simply because nobody will shut up about Obamacare nowadays.

  5. Im happy to see that many have realized the reality of things and not just what they are told.

  6. Its good that all these young people who voted for Obama finally realize what person he really is, a deceitful one. I wonder what will happen when there is not enough young people enrolled into Obamacare.

    • These videos shwo the truth (and lies) behind obamacare, how bad it is and how horribly it will affect my peers and i. Scary stuff is going down behind the curtains.

  7. I liked the creepy Uncle Sam advertisements, they definitely sent a message to me and anyone through the ages of 18-35, because it’s not fair at all to have the younger generation pay such a high price for obamacare and get fined if we don’t, we should be allowed to have other options and the government should be okay for our insurance since it is us the people who it’s benefiting from it. But they don’t care about how we feel, or so it seems like it.

  8. What sticks out to me is the real unemployment rate of the younger generations. Only ~41% of young people are fully employed? And yet in spite of this figure, the government still wants to charge us out the wazoo for our healthcare. I mean, it seems a bit counter intuitive. We as a people need to get the government out of our lives if we really want to remain a “free” nation

  9. CreepyUncle.sam, I love this opt out campaign that college students are starting. I hope it catches more press. The 18-35 age group need to know that they have more options out there. The more opt outs the better. Time to get rid of Obamacare, Affordable Health Care Act or whatever other name they are disguising it under to trick the public.

  10. I’m pleased that students are starting to take an interest in the news and make researched decisions. I didn’t know about this group of 18-35 year old workers and students who have banned together to share information for your generation. Thanks to the student that went to the trouble to send it. You may find some good ideas to think and/or argue about.

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