Ads celebrating sex and booze are being used in Colorado to sell Obamacare to young men and women.
Two liberal groups pushing the Affordable Care Act — ProgressNow Colorado and Colorado Consumer Health Initiative — have launched an ad campaign that appears to promote casual sex with free contraceptives while enticing young adults to sign up for President Barack Obama's healthcare insurance program, the Denver Post reports
Called "Got Insurance" and appearing on social media websites, the controversial ads also seem to promote partying and drinking beer right out of a keg.
The administration is desperate to entice young men and women to enroll in the new healthcare reform program because their participation could ultimately help keep premium costs down.
But Republican strategist Kelly Maher calls the ads "demeaning" to women and a brazen attempt to "distract" from the fact that thousands of people in Colorado have had their healthcare plans canceled because of Obamacare, according to the Post.
In one steamy ad, an attractive young woman holds a packet of birth-control pills while snuggling up to a handsome young man. "Let's get physical," she says.
The caption goes on, "OMG, he's hot! Let's hope he's as easy to get as this birth control. My health insurance covers the pill, which means all I have to worry about is getting him between the covers. I got insurance. Now you can too. Thanks Obamacare."
A second ad has a young blonde woman in a one-shoulder party dress holding a birth-control package while standing next to a cardboard cutout of actor Ryan Gosling. "Hey girl," the ad copy goes. "You're excited about easy access to birth control and I'm excited about getting to know you. Thanks Obamacare."
An earlier ad titled "Brosurance" shows a young man doing a handstand on a keg of beer as his two beer-drinking "bros" hold up his legs.
"Keg stands are crazy," says the caption. "Not having health insurance is crazier. Don’t tap into your beer money to cover those medical bills."
Maher, executive director of the conservative Compass Colorado, said in a statement that she's appalled by the ads.
"This campaign is desperately trying to distract from the fact that exchange sign-ups have essentially ground to a halt," she said, the Post reported. "While nearly a quarter of a million Coloradans have had their plans canceled, ProgressNow Colorado and Colorado Consumer Health Initiative are demeaning and belittling women with shallow sexual caricatures and making light of serious women's health issues."
Conservative talk-radio host Dana Loesch also slammed the promotion campaign on Twitter, calling it the "'you’re a whore' ad for Obamacare," and following up with another tweet saying, "So basically, hosurance."
Amy Runyon-Harms, executive director of ProgressNow Colorado, defended the ads.
"The whole intention of these ads is to raise awareness, and that's what we're doing. It's great that more and more people are talking about it," she said.
Adam Fox, of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, also weighed in against the critics.
"If people are seeing the ads and purchasing health insurance, that’s a good thing," he said.
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