NFL… we’ll pass on pimping Obamacare, thanks

posted at 12:31 pm on June 30, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

Kathleen Sebelius isn’t having a stellar week in terms of getting groups on board to promote Obamacare. Yes, she had something of a win with librarians earlier, but her more recent efforts seem to be falling on deaf ears. One place where she’s pushing to find public opinion movers is in major league sports, looking for these highly visible organizations to begin “promoting the health law’s opportunities” as she did with the librarians. The most highly rated of these groups – the National Football League – has apparently read the writing on the wall and decided to take a pass.

The National Football League is used to big, bruising battles. But on Friday, it announced that it was likely staying out of one of the roughest fights in Washington: the war over Obamacare.

Earlier this week, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius disclosed that the Obama administration was in talks with the sports organization to help promote the law, which enters a new phase as advocates prepare to begin enrolling millions of Americans in health insurance this fall.

… NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league had not made any commitment to the administration.

“We have responded to the letters we received from members of Congress to inform them we currently have no plans to engage in this area and have had no substantive contact with the administration about [the health-care law’s] implementation,” he said in an e-mail.

The “letter” in question refers to a note sent out by the Senate GOP on the subject of HHS asking the sports leagues to pitch in and help.

“It is difficult to understand why an organization like yours would risk damaging its inclusive and apolitical brand by lending its name to its promotion,” Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and John Cornyn (R-Tex.) wrote in a letter to six major sports organizations, including the NFL and Major League Baseball.

In the end, the question put forth in that letter is the real issue here, far more so than the national debate over Obamacare. Why on Earth would the NFL be interested in dipping a toe in this mess – either for or against – in the first place? What good would it do them, or anyone else? The league gets involved in a lot of different charitable efforts, the majority of which I agree with and find to be a totally valid use of the NFL’s time, money and popular appeal. These range from charities seeking to cure various diseases and support the families of those battling them to youth activities promoting sports, exercise and health. And it’s nice to see them giving something back to the community.

But regardless how you feel about the law itself, this remains a largely political question. It involves issues of the power of the federal government versus the states and the individual far more than how many people have what kind of health insurance. The NFL is one of the few iconic, giant institutions in the nation which serve all of us, (unless you’re a Jets fan, of course) and turning it into a political stalking horse just pulls blocks out of its foundation. This was a good move on the part of the NFL, and I would say that even if they were refusing to support a political position I believed in strongly. We can get all the information we need from the usual sources, and I don’t need the NFL promoting responsible gun ownership, no matter how much I would accept their premise. I’d rather they get back to explaining what the heck is going on with Tebow.

But don’t worry, Ms. Sebelius. You can still use federal money to train students to indoctrinate their parents on it.


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NFL to Bammie: Pound sand.

chewmeister on June 30, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Jazz, didn’t you see Ed’s post a week ago about not glorifying pimps? Pimping means exploiting women! war on women! /

rndmusrnm on June 30, 2013 at 12:35 PM

“Hey, you in on marketing something that has 39% approval rating across the USA”…all be it the NFL thugs would probably represent the Thugocracy well….

hillsoftx on June 30, 2013 at 12:36 PM

No thanks…. with OJ and Hernandez we’ve got our own death panels.

viking01 on June 30, 2013 at 12:40 PM

So nice, HA staff posted it twice. :-)

Steve Eggleston on June 30, 2013 at 12:44 PM

NFL… we’ll pass on pimping Obamacare, thanks

The NFL is still partying from their fight to keep Rush Limbaugh from being any sort of owner, based on wild BS. Once the NFl stops laughing from that they’ll get around to shoving BarkyCare down everyone’s throat.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 30, 2013 at 12:44 PM

It would be less damaging if the NFL promoted toxic waste.

RadClown on June 30, 2013 at 12:50 PM

I smell some anti-trust legislation getting introduced in the Senate!!!

bflat879 on June 30, 2013 at 12:51 PM

I though of the two leagues Sibelius reportedly contacted, the NFL was the most likely to turn her down, both because it has far more to lose than the NBA and because it’s core fan base comes far more from flyover country, and the league knows it. But by going first to turn Team Obama down on becoming part of their unpaid shill network, the NFL has made it a lot tougher for the NBA to come out and do it (though being a longtime liberal and being on the brink of retirement, NBA Commissioner David Stern may not give a damn if he makes things tougher for his successor and still opts to go all-in on ObamaCare hawking).

jon1979 on June 30, 2013 at 12:53 PM

The NFL is still partying from their fight to keep Rush Limbaugh from being any sort of owner, based on wild BS.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 30, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Take a minute and reflect on what the NFL could have done with a captive 24 million daily radio audience PLUS Rush’s personal wealth being nearby. Keep in mind that the last contract he signed netted him 40 million dollars just for his signature. That’s over and above the terms of the contract.

A lot of economic power was disregarded in exchange for PC.

platypus on June 30, 2013 at 12:53 PM

“for now”

Jeddite on June 30, 2013 at 12:55 PM

It’s the law.

happytobehere on June 30, 2013 at 12:56 PM

“The league gets involved in a lot of different charitable efforts, the majority of which I agree with and find to be a totally valid use of the NFL’s time, money and popular appeal. These range from charities seeking to cure various diseases and support the families of those battling them to youth activities promoting sports, exercise and health. And it’s nice to see them giving something back to the community.

Hang out with more lefties. You see, they need altruism as a useful tool and they don’t have God.

Their zeitgeist is that they are doing good works. And those are the nice ones who don’t despise all tradition and aren’t out to turn the USA into, well, what it is turning into..

IlikedAUH2O on June 30, 2013 at 12:56 PM

A lot of economic power was disregarded in exchange for PC.

platypus on June 30, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Yep. But, I wouldn’t even call that “for PC”. That was far beyond the stupidity, destructiveness and intellectual offensiveness of PC.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 30, 2013 at 12:57 PM

So nice, HA staff posted it twice. :-)

Steve Eggleston on June 30, 2013 at 12:44 PM

It’s summer. Season of reruns.

davidk on June 30, 2013 at 1:01 PM

“Well I’ve always been more of a Basketball fan anyhow…Football is too violent…” Preezy Snoopysnuff

workingclass artist on June 30, 2013 at 1:01 PM

So nice, HA staff posted it twice. :-)

Steve Eggleston on June 30, 2013 at 12:44 PM

It’s summer. Season of reruns.

davidk on June 30, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Makes me wonder if the bloggers even read Hot Air.

davidk on June 30, 2013 at 1:02 PM

NFL? What’s that?
GO ‘BAMA!

james hooker on June 30, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Next up…

Force the NFL to become Flag Football & Audit all of the owners.

workingclass artist on June 30, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Who needs the NFL when you have the public schools….

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/05/22/departments-health-education-Obama-campaign-affordable-care-act

CW on June 30, 2013 at 1:06 PM

I’m still trying to figure out why Obama keeps pushing advocacy for what is already the law.

Liam on June 30, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Really — What does our ever-needy ‘president’ need now?

Liam on June 30, 2013 at 1:15 PM

DOn’t major sport leagues have an exemption from anti-trust laws?

MLB does for sure, and if these leagues were to participate in a political promotion, some wise lawyer would sue to have their exemption removed for becoming an advocate.

If it were me, I wouldn’t take the risk.

BobMbx on June 30, 2013 at 1:16 PM

rndmusrnm on June 30, 2013 at 12:35 PM

I assumed Ed was joking. He’s a pretty major pimp daddy himself.

Jazz Shaw on June 30, 2013 at 1:18 PM

And yes, Ed wrote up this story and I entirely missed it while getting stuck in the Detroit airport for 19 hours. My bad. But hey, it’s up now…

Jazz Shaw on June 30, 2013 at 1:20 PM

I assumed Ed was joking. He’s a pretty major pimp daddy himself.

Jazz Shaw on June 30, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Careful. You might get fired for that. Only the trolls are allowed to get away with pretty much anything.

Liam on June 30, 2013 at 1:21 PM

So nice, HA staff posted it twice. :-)

Steve Eggleston on June 30, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Yep, it’s always amusing to me when this happens & reveals that the bloggers don’t always read each other’s posts…

cs89 on June 30, 2013 at 1:22 PM

The National Football League takes a pass promoting ObamaCare.

Since Obama is desperately unaware of virtually everything that occurs on his watch, he will once again read about this in the newspaper, and be surprised that not every entity or person desires to be politicized for Obama’s perpetual campaign.

locomotivebreath1901 on June 30, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Jazz Shaw on June 30, 2013 at 1:20

Sounds like a real nightmare…Detroit for 19 hours. In recent years, Memphis has become my least fav airport.

esr1951 on June 30, 2013 at 1:26 PM

locomotivebreath1901 on June 30, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Obama demands 100% That’s why he’s on perpetual campaign.

I look at it this way: He isn’t yet shooting those who disagree with him.

Liam on June 30, 2013 at 1:28 PM

19 hours in the airport… What up with dat?

Hill60 on June 30, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Liam on June 30, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Agreed. The key word being ‘yet.’ But those drones are tempting him.

The question I’ve always had is ‘What if Obama refuses to step down after his 2nd term and hangs onto power?’ Who or what would stop him?

locomotivebreath1901 on June 30, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Sounds like a real nightmare…Detroit for 19 hours. In recent years, Memphis has become my least fav airport.

esr1951 on June 30, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Probably had to avoid all the SAM launchers pinging targets from Dearborn…

viking01 on June 30, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Because the NFL would never pimp for the pimp. Oh wait!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXsoDx9s0j0

VegasRick on June 30, 2013 at 1:36 PM

The question I’ve always had is ‘What if Obama refuses to step down after his 2nd term and hangs onto power?’ Who or what would stop him?

locomotivebreath1901 on June 30, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Management won’t let us have that discussion. The Ban Hammer will have to be paid at overtime wages.

Liam on June 30, 2013 at 1:40 PM

The question I’ve always had is ‘What if Obama refuses to step down after his 2nd term and hangs onto power?’ Who or what would stop him?

locomotivebreath1901 on June 30, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Nothing really cause The Atty. General Eric Holder doesn’t have to defend the US Constitution anymore.

Congress can whine about it…But so what?

Meanwhile Obama continues to campaign…organize and raise money.

workingclass artist on June 30, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Groundhog Day?

philw1776 on June 30, 2013 at 1:47 PM

The question I’ve always had is ‘What if Obama refuses to step down after his 2nd term and hangs onto power?’ Who or what would stop him?

locomotivebreath1901 on June 30, 2013 at 1:34 PM

My guess is the Ohio River would divide the two new nations:

Obamabarkia and DontmesswithTexasyouyankeemarxistsbastidsrovia.

viking01 on June 30, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Why on Earth would the NFL be interested in dipping a toe in this mess – either for or against – in the first place? What good would it do them, or anyone else?

That question never enters the collective mind of the Obama Administration. Their default position is that every private enterprise will be interested in helping them if they know what’s good for them.

Curtiss on June 30, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Apparently the NFL does not understand that this was NOT a REQUEST by the Whitehouse.

clippermiami on June 30, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Apparently the NFL does not understand that this was NOT a REQUEST by the Whitehouse.

clippermiami on June 30, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Frack the White House, then.

Apparently the White House doesn’t understand that we Americans love our liberty. And we retain the means to enforce it.

Liam on June 30, 2013 at 1:55 PM

And yes, Ed wrote up this story and I entirely missed it while getting stuck in the Detroit airport for 19 hours. My bad. But hey, it’s up now…

Jazz Shaw on June 30, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Detroit, you say? I have the obligatory video.

Steve Eggleston on June 30, 2013 at 2:17 PM

There’s only one reason Obama and Sebelius have to sell something that’s already a law.

It’s and ill-conceived and hastily written pile of dung forced down the throats of an unwanting public.

fogw on June 30, 2013 at 2:28 PM

It’s the law.

happytobehere on June 30, 2013 at 12:56 PM

μολὼν λαβέ

yesiamapirate on June 30, 2013 at 2:37 PM

Just to be clear… are talking Bloods or Crips here?

Ugly on June 30, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Detroit, you say? I have the obligatory video.

Steve Eggleston on June 30, 2013 at 2:17 PM

LOL too funny!

Ugly on June 30, 2013 at 2:49 PM

And yes, Ed wrote up this story and I entirely missed it while getting stuck in the Detroit airport for 19 hours. My bad. But hey, it’s up now…

Jazz Shaw on June 30, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Detroit, you say? I have the obligatory video.

Steve Eggleston on June 30, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Detroit? Didn’t they film the Battle of Hue scenes in Full Metal Jacket in Detroit? If that’s what was on the YouTube link I apologize. A lot of video links here won’t play on an OS device. Love my iPad but some of its limitations are annoying.

yesiamapirate on June 30, 2013 at 2:50 PM

NFL… we’ll pass on pimping Obamacare, thanks

…not to worry…the administration will now find some way…to pimp the NFL!…you don’t play…you will pay!

KOOLAID2 on June 30, 2013 at 3:13 PM

Jazz Shaw on June 30, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Hey, that’s more than okay. I love reading good news more than once. Rock on NFL.

jazzuscounty on June 30, 2013 at 4:05 PM

My guess is the Ohio River would divide the two new nations:

Obamabarkia and DontmesswithTexasyouyankeemarxistsbastidsrovia.

viking01 on June 30, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Thank God I’m already on the right side of that line. :-)

trigon on June 30, 2013 at 4:15 PM

I was kinda looking forward to hearing all the catcalls and boos when the ad came on the board!

PattyJ on June 30, 2013 at 4:56 PM

NFL… we’ll pass on pimping Obamacare, thanks

“We got enough problems with gangs infiltrating our league, and our players roaming the streets as murderous thugs….”

olesparkie on July 1, 2013 at 7:30 AM