If Michelle Obama is going to release a hip-hop album full of tunes for healthy living performed by people who have made questionable career choices since a distant heyday in the early 1990s, then why shouldn’t everyone be able to turn a potentially dangerous administration policy into a snappy tune with an accompanying internet video?
If you’ve ever thought that you might have the chops to compete on this stage, well, now’s your chance. As it turns out, the Administration is completely reliant on young, healthy, cheap-to-insure people signing up for the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges in order to make them functional. The problem is, young people, on the whole, think they will live forever and choose to avoid purchasing health care, through an exchange or otherwise. And, when you sit down and calculate it out, buying into the exchange is actually more expensive than paying the penalty for being a non-contributor to the system. You see the problem.
Well, calling in nagging mothers and posting signs in Porta-Potties as outdoor music festivals isn’t enough to convince America’s youth that they need government-sponsored health care plans, so HHS has launched it’s newest initiative: a contest.
The administration will partner with Young Invincibles, a non-profit youth issues organization, to run the contest, with the goal of reaching those younger Americans who are skeptical of the need for health coverage.
Participants will be encouraged to submit three different types of videos advertising the benefits of the exchanges: a song, an animated short, or a video designed to convince viewers that they aren’t invincible. Using funds from the Affordable Care Act’s education and outreach budget, HHS will award $3,000 each to the creators of the three most popular and persuasive videos, while second and third place winners will get $2,500 each.
Young Invincibles was, unsurprisingly, founded by the Center for Community Change (which focuses on getting people into unions and organizing communities with the intent to push things like immigration reform) with the express purpose of signing kids up for the health care program (among other things like a student loan bailout), but it’s not really a surprise that the Administration would turn to a friendly cadre of law grads to work on ushering an entire generation into a program they’ll be forced to pay for.
What’s awesome is that the Administration actually thinks this is a good idea, as though a round-up of submissions from the nation’s four-year university liberal arts programs is going to be enough to convince affected hipsters that they should give up their clove cigarettes and PBR to buy into a system that might not even benefit them in the long run. Actually, they may not even make that quantitative decision as it involves math and their Masters degree is in Russian philosophy.