Karl Rove-Backed Group Spoofs Obamacare Video Contest

Crossroads GPS submitted an entry to the HHS video contest to “promote” the health care law. And by promote, it means the opposite of promote.

Crossroads GPS
National Journal
Sophie Novack
Add to Briefcase
Sophie Novack
Aug. 27, 2013, 2 a.m.

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.

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