Brosurance: Can It Save ACA In Colorado?

Brosurance, the new Affordable Care Act (ACA) ad, hit the web on Wednesday, and it has already drawn criticism from both liberal and conservative media outlets. The sign depicts three men (er, bros) — “Rob, Zach, & Sam, Bros for Life” — participating in a keg stand with the words “got insurance?” printed at the top.

To the right of the (obviously) drunk party animals is a plea, authorized by the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative (CCHI) and ProgressNow Colorado Education: “Brosurance: Keg stands are crazy. Not having health insurance is crazier. Don’t tap into your beer money to cover those medical bills. We got it covered. Now you can too! Thanks, Obamacare!”

When the image initially hit Twitter, people weren’t sure whether to believe it was legitimate and not an Onion-type parody. The elements for parody are definitely there:

• A silly situation
• Hammy expressions
• A terribly ill-conceived message

Unfortunately, Mother Jones confirmed it was authentic later in the day. This has given conservatives like Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin and CNN Crossfire panelist S.E. Cupp plenty of ammunition for attack.

Critics point to the fact that the ad seems to make light of drinking irresponsibly (i.e. keg stand), a behavior that, if anything, would inflate the overall cost of healthcare if done on a grand scale.

ACA has been questioned for its ability to bring down healthcare costs, with prices expected to increase starting in 2015, though it’s debatable as to how much that increase will be.

Cupp took to Twitter to point out how disparaging the Brosurance ad was to younger generations as well: “Millennials, this is what the left thinks of you,” she tweeted.

Pressure Mounts

The Brosurance ad was released along with seven others that appear to be presented in a lighthearted but less-risky manner. As such, little has been said about these other efforts. Brosurance is instead getting all the attention.

Liberal critics have pointed out that the ad is a credibility setback the healthcare law did not need in light of the failed rollout of, and the fact Republicans have zeroed in on premium increases for middle class families as a point of attack. For the ACA to work, it will have to reduce the cost of healthcare and not just increase the number of persons in the system.

Lawmakers are shooting at a target of 7 million enrollees by the end of the open enrollment period, and not getting there could mean that costs go up much sooner than expected.

While the Department of Health and Human Services has been reluctant to release the numbers of actual enrollees, Colorado’s own data wasn’t very promising.

In the first week, there were just 226 enrollments. While Connect for Health Colorado tried to spin that number in a positive way via press release, it is by all accounts a slow start that will need to pick up in a hurry, especially if it’s indicative of how the law is performing throughout the US. Considering the Obama administration has said on numerous occasions that enrollments are going better in states that have embraced the law (like Colorado), this is a discouraging start.

Do you think ads like Brosurance will help or hurt ACA’s efforts to gain traction with the public, or are people making too much of it?

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