Dave Gonigam

Well… We can say in all honesty we never anticipated linking to a video of a gynecological exam. Much less one that features a creepy Uncle Sam wielding a speculum.

There’s no shortage of Obamacare headlines this morning. But most of them are far more predictable, and far less entertaining, than the one-minute spot prepared by the “Opt Out” campaign…

  • The House is voting today to “defund” Obamacare. As if they haven’t already done so on [pausing to check] 40 previous occasions
  • With only 11 days before the online insurance “exchanges” are supposed to open, the government’s software still can’t spit out the right prices, according to this morning’s Wall Street Journal. As if we didn’t see that coming…
  • Home Depot is dropping health coverage for 20,000 part-timers — sending them to the exchanges. Talk about Johnny-come-latelys…
  • Nearly five in eight Americans polled by ABC News and The Washington Post say they “lack the information needed to understand the changes that will take effect as the Affordable Care Act is implemented.” No surprise with a bill that stretched to 906 pages — plus 20,000 more of associated regulations.

Besides, there’s nothing you can actually do in reaction to these stories. You’re a helpless spectator. Which is why we find the YouTube video much more intriguing…

The message for everyone: You’re better off paying the fine than getting on the exchange merry-go-round.

“What we’re trying to communicate is, ‘No, you’re actually not required to buy health insurance,’” says Evan Feinberg. “You might have to pay a fine, but that’s going to be cheaper for you and better for you.”

Mr. Feinberg is president of a group called Generation Opportunity, described by Yahoo News as “part of a coalition of right-leaning organizations with financial ties to billionaire businessmen and political activists Charles and David Koch.”

Generation Opportunity produced the video; there’s also a version geared toward men, in which the patient is curled up on the table and old Sam snaps on a pair of latex gloves.

The message for everyone: You’re better off paying the fine than getting on the exchange merry-go-round.

“The health exchanges rely heavily on young, healthy Americans who will subsidize the sick and elderly within the pools,” explains Yahoo. “Without the healthy, the exchanges could be unsustainable. The Obama administration is devoting millions of public dollars to promote the exchanges, but many conservative groups are actively working to convince people not to join.”

Nor is the campaign limited to the videos.

“Generation Opportunity intends to host events at college football tailgate parties festivals,” says Yahoo, “where ‘brand ambassadors’ (read: hot young people) will pass out beer koozies that read ‘opt out,’ pizza and literature about the health care law. Some events may have impromptu dance parties with DJ’s, complete with games of cornhole and competitions for prizes, organizers said.”

They’re even commissioning actors on Craigslist to dress up like Creepy Uncle Sam at $275 a pop.

Hmmm… Maybe this campaign will have more legs than the “burn your Obamacare card” message that fell flat because, well, there’s no such thing as an Obamacare card.

Young people aren’t the only ones opting out. “I would love to have insurance, but we just don’t have the money,” says Sandra Czop.

Ms. Czop is 58. She’s a mortgage loan officer in the Chicago suburb of Bloomingdale. Her business is down 60%. Her husband is unemployed. For now, the penalty — or, if you prefer the Supreme Court’s nomenclature, tax — is easier to swing than insurance. “We need that $100 to put food on the table,” she tells CNN Money. “We have no money to put gas in the car.”

A couple earning $50,000 a year — just below the national household median — is eligible for a $1,300 subsidy to buy insurance on the exchanges. They’d still be stuck paying $4,750 in premiums — a far sight more than the $300 penalty.

“For some folks,” the CNN Money story sums up, “health insurance just isn’t a good deal.”

Cheers,

Dave Gonigam
for The Daily Reckoning

News Flash: Obamacare is a disaster. Of course, you already knew that. But there are a few things you might not know about this social program that would make you sick to your stomach. Click here to see the full report.

Originally Posted in The 5 Min. Forecast

You May Also Like:


The 2 Most Controversial “Benefits” of Obamacare

Mike Patton

The launch of Obamacare has come with a fair amount of controversy. And when you look at the specifics of the law, it's easy to see why. Under the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans will be forced to pay for services they will never use. Today, Mike Patton examines two of them, and why they're so controversial. Read on...

Dave Gonigam

Dave Gonigam has been managing editor of The 5 Min. Forecast since September 2010. Before joining the research and writing team at Agora Financial in 2007, he worked for 20 years as an Emmy award-winning television news producer.

Recent Articles

5 Min. Forecast
How to Profit On the Back of an “Activist Investor”

Dave Gonigam

Since the invention of the "shareholder rights plan" (i.e. the "poison pill"), most companies are relatively immune to hostile takeovers. But according to Dave Gonigam that could all change thanks to one activist investor. And if you're savvy enough, you may just be able to follow his lead for big gains. Read on...


Extra!
Why Americans Shouldn’t Worry About Income Inequality

Jim Mosquera

As the markets have continued to rally over the last several years, more and more people have touted the problem of "income inequality" in the US. But as Jim Mosquera explains, this perceived problem will likely sort itself out with the arrival of one specific market event. Read on...


One ETF to Play Asymmetric Warfare

Addison Wiggin

Almost one year ago, substation telephone cables were maliciously cut in San Jose, CA. In 20 minutes, 17 transformers were knocked out. A year on, similar threats have cropped up. Today, Addison Wiggin explains why these threats are so serious for the safety of the global economy... and shows you one way to play it...


What Small-Caps are Saying About the Current “Bubble”

Greg Guenthner

The big problem with declaring bubbles is that it really does you no good. Unless you're attempting to measure and time market moves, you're also blowing hot air. But if you keep watch for negative divergences, you have a much better shot at figuring out big market moves than the latest bubble-busters. Greg Guenthner explains...


A Simple Strategy for Investing in the US Energy Boom

Byron King

Too often investments are made in a vacuum. But as Byron King demonstrates, the global economic crash... easy money... and technological advancements are all interdependent. In particular, that connection has changed the investment calculus in the resource market. Read on to learn how...


How Gold Will Respond to Declining Discovery

Henry Bonner

Oil isn't the only resource to experience "peaks." Due to a major contraction in gold exploration over the past few years, the mining sector is no longer mining gold at its replacement rate. In other words, the amount of gold above ground is running out. And according to Henry Bonner, it will get worse before it gets better...