Website Pitches Obamacare ‘Sugar Daddies’

This August 9, 2011 photo shows a journalist reading the dating website in Washington, DC. - On one hand, a man of a certain age, with deep pockets. On the other, a young woman, cute and penniless. Sugar Daddy and Sugar Baby will be able to meet and 'hug' via a website that speaks American money without complexes, but rejects the word prostitution.
National Journal
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Clara Ritger
Nov. 19, 2013, 4:08 p.m.

“Don’t get screwed by Obama­care,” shouts a bill­board in Dal­las. “Find a Sug­ar Daddy.”

Seekin­gAr­range­ — a dat­ing web­site that prom­ises to link singles to “sug­ar dad­dies” and “sug­ar mom­mies” with fin­an­cial means — launched a mar­ket­ing cam­paign on Nov. 1 pro­mot­ing the site as a place for young wo­men burdened by new health in­sur­ance costs to find a be­ne­fact­or.

The un­usu­al out­reach is among a spate of re­cent en­tre­pren­eur­i­al ef­forts to drum up busi­ness as a res­ult of changes in the na­tion’s health care sys­tem.

The web­site’s first bill­board ap­peared in Dal­las last week, with an­oth­er set to go up in Pitt­s­burgh. A third will likely ap­pear in a West­ern city such as Phoenix.

“We tried to put up a bill­board in D.C. but we got turned down,” said founder and CEO Brandon Wade. “I guess we’re too close to Obama or something.”

Pro­file cre­ation is up 50 per­cent — roughly 24,000 wo­men ad­ded to the site’s 2 mil­lion and grow­ing list of mem­bers — in the two weeks since the health in­sur­ance push began. Seekin­gAr­range­ con­duc­ted a sur­vey of new users and found that one in three signed up be­cause they were con­cerned about the cost of cov­er­age.

“We mon­it­or the trends of what people are talk­ing about and why they go on our web­site,” Wade said. “When we looked at our stat­ist­ics for Oc­to­ber, we no­ticed that mem­bers were dis­tress­ing about the cost of health in­sur­ance more than in the months be­fore.”

The cam­paign was a re­sponse to an 83 per­cent in­crease in Oc­to­ber of the use of the keyword “health care” in “Sug­ar Baby” pro­files. Already its You­Tube video has more than 17,000 views.

“The Af­ford­able Care Act re­quires young people who are healthy and may not have had in­sur­ance be­fore to pay for it,” Wade said. “They are look­ing for help through our web­site.”

The site es­tim­ates the av­er­age monthly al­low­ance in its Sug­ar Daddy-Sug­ar Baby re­la­tion­ships to amount to $3,000. It launched in 2006, and has fa­cil­it­ated vari­ous levels of re­la­tion­ships, from com­pan­ions to long-term couples.

Penny Nance, pres­id­ent and CEO of Con­cerned Wo­men for Amer­ica — a con­ser­vat­ive co­ali­tion that pro­motes bib­lic­al val­ues and fam­ily tra­di­tions — said CWA would be will­ing to help if it kept the young wo­men from “pros­ti­tut­ing” them­selves.

“Clearly they’ve been failed by their gov­ern­ment,” Nance said. “I think the high num­ber of people con­cerned about health care costs cer­tainly re­flects poorly on the Af­ford­able Care Act.”

The Health and Hu­man Ser­vices De­part­ment did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment on the web­site.


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