How do you pitch Obamacare to young, healthy Americans?
Advocates for Obamacare in Colorado are pulling out all the classic youth bait -- sex, drugs and roller derby -- as part of a $25,000 ad campaign designed to lure the healthy 20- and 30-somethings who are key to the economic success of the Affordable Care Act.
The "Got Insurance?" ads, from the non-profit Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and ProgressNow Colorado Education, are part of a wave of media blitzes to enroll young residents in the new health insurance marketplaces that are raising eyebrows.
One ad -- titled "Brosurance" -- features the characters "Rob," "Zach" and "Sam," three shorts-and-T-shirt-wearing "bros for life" who raise red cups cups while doing a keg stand. "Don't tap into your beer money to cover those medical bills," the ad reads. "We got it covered."
Another showcases the characters "Nate" and "Susie," who flashes a thumbs-up while holding a pack of birth control pills. "OMG, he's hot!" the ad reads. "My health insurance covers the pill, which means all I have to worry about is getting him between the covers."
In Oregon, state officials have taken a more musical approach with an $8.2 million ad buy from a group called Cover Oregon. The TV ads are straight out of "Portlandia," complete with local guitar-strumming songwriters, sprawling landscapes and a brigade of prop-toting kids.
But for all its feel-good vibes, the ads haven't been enough to boost enrollment among the so-called "young invincibles" on their own. Cover Oregon recently pulled its newspaper, radio and TV spots because the state's insurance exchange portal isn't up-and running yet -- three months after it was supposed to launch.
The success of the Affordable Care Act rides on young, healthy people enrolling. According to Congressional Budget Office estimates the White House embraced, the system will need more about 2.7 million of enrollees this year -- a little more than a third of the 7 million-enrollee goal -- to be between the ages of 18 and 35.