Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies is bringing out the big puns in its fight against Obamacare.
The Karl Rove-backed advocacy organization announced its entry Monday into the Health and Human Services Department's video contest aimed at promoting Obamacare among young Americans, the group key to keeping premiums down in the law's new insurance exchanges. The contest, which opened Aug. 19, is meant to raise awareness of the law and encourage enrollment among young people by using a medium the YouTube generation knows well.
The video, simply titled Propaganda, satirizes the contest by covering what Crossroads sees as unfavorable aspects of the law—including the individual mandate and possible premium increases—all presented in a faux-cheery, infomercial-style voice-over. "We're in it to win it," said Crossroads GPS President and CEO Steven Law. "There is an ugly side to this law, and we expect the government to communicate those less savory aspects of the law to young people just as they are hyping some of the benefits. We hope every young person will watch this video—and vote for it."
This isn't the first time Crossroads has gotten spoofy in its anti-Obamacare videos; in July it released a parody trailer of the much-discussed campy SyFy flick, Sharknado—"ObamaCareNado"—that portrayed the health care law as a fast-approaching storm of destruction. The Asylum, the studio behind Sharknado, has since blocked the Crossroads spoof on copyright grounds.
Propaganda uses more word-play and less natural disasters to oppose the law. The narrator warns against the possibility of premium increases for young, healthy individuals, saying, "Enjoy your premium hikes, young people of America," as the video cuts to a confused group of backpackers in the woods. "Because everyone loves hikes!" Crossroads plays into the tough job market and employment concerns of young individuals as it relays the Republican argument that Obamacare would force employers to cut workers' hours, saying they don't have to worry about paying part of their income in penalties because "You don't have a job. Work sucks. That's why we at Obamacare want to trade your full time job for a part time one."
Although there are a few female cameos in the video, it appears targeted more toward the healthy, male, "bro" demographic that has been discussed as the group most likely to experience premium increases as a result of Obamacare. "Just like guys enjoy premium leather seats, so too you'll enjoy paying triple the health care premiums out of your new part-time salary! Speaking of guys, ever been on a man date before? At Obamacare we're full of mandates!"
The video concludes with a "sponsor's disclaimer" that refers to an earlier scene of lemmings jumping off a cliff: "A message from the White House office of Obamacare propaganda to get young people to love us and sign up like lemmings."
Entries to the video contest may be submitted through Sept. 23.
This article appears in the August 28, 2013 edition of NJ Daily.