New Obamacare plan: Porta-john ads are gonna get this thing right back on track

posted at 8:41 pm on July 10, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham

Well, the nanny state wants to do everything else for us, why shouldn’t it write the jokes for us, too? Obamacare will be advertised on porta-potties. In an attempt to reach young adults without insurance, that’s just one of the ideas being tossed around by supporters. And, yes, you’re paying for all of this:

In Connecticut, selling Obamacare involves renting an airplane. Oregon might try to reel in hipsters with branded coffee cups for their lattes. And in neighboring Washington, the effort could get quite intimate: The state is interested in sponsoring portable toilets at concerts in an effort to reach uninsured young adults.

With 83 days left until the health law’s insurance marketplaces open for business, public awareness remains low. Most polling data suggest that few Americans are aware of how the Affordable Care Act works – or that it even exists.

A recent poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation showed 42 percent of Americans to be uncertain about whether the health-care law still stands. Gallup found last month that 43 percent of the uninsured were not aware of the law’s requirement to buy health insurance coverage.

States are spending millions to change that, using everything from television ads to free grocery bags to bus tours to sell President Obama’s signature legislative achievement. They are relying near-exclusively on federal grants to run the campaigns.

I won’t quibble with their targeting strategy. Coffee cups and music festival porta-potties are pretty good places to reach young people. But what’s the pitch? “When you’re done going No. 2, make sure to look out for No. 1 by buying yourself some health insurance, which is more comprehensive and expensive than you need, more expensive than the penalty for not buying it, and hey, aren’t you still on your parents’ insurance, anyway? Maybe we should have thought about that before we ran these ads.” The fact is, Obamacare’s just not a good deal for young people, nor was it designed to be. The hope was always to lure a bunch of mostly low-maintenance, low-cost suckers into the system to offset the costs of the older and sicker, who could conceivably look forward to a better deal:

As long as insurers are raking in profits by collecting premiums from individuals with virtually no medical costs, they can afford to take on more expensive patients. This is precisely why as president, Obama abandoned his prior opposition to the individual mandate and why his administration fought so hard to preserve it in court.

Liberals, as Cohn writes, have openly acknowledged that, “some young and healthy people would have to pay more.” The problem for Obamacare supporters is that right now, millions of younger Americans don’t bother getting insurance. So, if currently, this subset of the population doesn’t think insurance is a good deal for them, why would they be compelled to purchase even more expensive insurance once Obamacare goes into effect? As I constantly reiterate, a young American who chooses to go uninsured under the current system pays $0 per month in premiums…

The problem is, in 2014, the penalty for not having insurance is either $95 or 1 percent of taxable income (roughly $213 for our hypothetical 26 year-old). Yet the cheapest policy offered on the California exchange would cost $1,944 annually. Would a young worker without much disposable income, quite possibly carrying student loans and credit card debt, have an extra $1,700 to toss around? And again, if that worker already chooses to go uninsured under the current system, why would he purchase more expensive insurance under Obamacare?

Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney informs us that anyone criticizing the copious Obamacare delays and glitches (which Guy Benson has catalogued, here), is just “wilfully ignorant” of the healthy precedent for major legislation falling completely apart before its been enacted:

Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin begs to differ.

Some Democrats were also dismayed by the White House’s actions. Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and an author of the health law, questioned whether Mr. Obama had the authority to unilaterally delay the employer mandate.

“This was the law. How can they change the law?” he asked.

For its part, the White House continued to look flat-footed on the issue. After an almost surreptitious evening announcement of the delay last week, posted on the Treasury Department’s Web site, the White House is declining to send a representative to a House hearing on the decision that is scheduled for Wednesday. An administration official might testify next week.

The arguments of Obamacare supporters have become increasingly odd as the week’s news cycle has unfurled. Greg Sargent and Chuck Todd declared that, somehow, the president’s decision to delay major components of his own bill is just further evidence of the efficacy of Republican obstructionism (upgraded to the dramatic sounding, “sabotage governing”). I’ll grant them that if it were Republicans who caused that, it’d be quite a feat, but as even Joe Klein has admitted, the Obama administration has had years to work on these problems and dropped the ball.

Ezra Klein declared that we should all look on the bright side because jettisoning major parts of Obamacare had just made it easier to implement, not harder. Yes, and it’d have been a lot easier for me to announce I was going to run a marathon only to quit six miles in to pat myself vigorously on the back. That’s how not doing things you’ve promised to do generally works. Megan McArdle fleshes out just how far short of Obamacare’s promises this attitude falls. The whole thing is worth a read:

This is not just a rather unflattering reflection on the administration’s ability to implement its signature achievement–didn’t they, say, talk to any IT folks about this? It’s also a violation of the promises that they made when this thing passed. They swore up and down that cost control was central to Obamacare; the bill would have been even less popular had they suggested that it would be deficit increasing, rather than decreasing our Gross National Overdraft.

But as it turns out, they’re all too willing to throw cost control overboard if it becomes inconvenient. This is pretty much exactly what critics said they were planning to do–a charge which was excoriated at the time as baseless slander.

I understand why the administration, and Obamacare’s supporters, view coverage expansion as the whole point, and cost-control and anti-fraud measures as incidental side measures that should not be allowed to get in the way of the main task. I think they are sincere, and their goals are worthy. But that wasn’t the deal they promised, or the law they wrote. The deal they promised was that they would be cost-controllers, not the authors of yet another budget-busting entitlement–that they would fight fraud, not abet it.

And, finally, a PSA for us from Phil Klein. Don’t get cocky. It can sometimes be lost in the political shuffle, but it’s quite ungratifying to be proven right about legislation when the most damaging parts of it will remain, hurting consumers, scaring the bejeezus out of families and business owners, and generally leaving people with worse care than they had back when 85 percent of them were basically happy with their health insurance before Obama decided to “fix” it.

Front-page photo via dnet on Flickr.


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New Obamacare plan: Porta-john ads are gonna get this thing right back on track

Oooooh, this is about Obamacare. When I first saw the title I thought maybe Obummer said American workers would start making our own Porta-Potties instead of the Chinese.

Dang.

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 10, 2013 at 8:46 PM

flushing good money down the toilet…

ObamaCare™

Electrongod on July 10, 2013 at 8:46 PM

Can “Obamacare” stamped condoms be far behind?

dissent555 on July 10, 2013 at 8:46 PM

Cloward and Piven.

abobo on July 10, 2013 at 8:47 PM

…why is there a picture of Rubio, McCain and Lindsey leading to the thread?

KOOLAID2 on July 10, 2013 at 8:47 PM

Obamacare will be advertised on porta-potties. In an attempt to reach young adults without insurance, that’s just one of the ideas being tossed around by supporters

…some ‘bundler’ to JugEars getting a contract again?

KOOLAID2 on July 10, 2013 at 8:50 PM

Great post Mary Katharine!!..:)

Dire Straits on July 10, 2013 at 8:51 PM

Dumpers here we come!!

Scrumpy on July 10, 2013 at 8:52 PM

The Fix is In the Can… 0_O

Scrumpy on July 10, 2013 at 8:54 PM

…sort of a laxative?…while you’re trying to shit?

KOOLAID2 on July 10, 2013 at 8:54 PM

Who spends enough time in a porta pottie to read anything. Those things are nasty.

That being said probably the best place to advertise when you think about it. I’ve seen the regular users of those things – ewwwww.

gophergirl on July 10, 2013 at 8:55 PM

…will you be able to pee on the ad?

KOOLAID2 on July 10, 2013 at 8:55 PM

…will you be able to pee on the ad?

KOOLAID2 on July 10, 2013 at 8:55 PM

If you haven’t already….

Electrongod on July 10, 2013 at 8:56 PM

For once, truth in advertising. Very appropriate ad placement.

Philly on July 10, 2013 at 8:56 PM

…will you be able to pee on the ad?

KOOLAID2 on July 10, 2013 at 8:55 PM

If you haven’t already….

Electrongod on July 10, 2013 at 8:56 PM

As in….

Why wait….

Electrongod on July 10, 2013 at 8:59 PM

Obamacare smells like a porta-john.

Resist We Much on July 10, 2013 at 9:00 PM

…it better not be above eye level…I won’t have a chance!

KOOLAID2 on July 10, 2013 at 9:00 PM

In an attempt to reach young adults without insurance OCCU-poopers.

Pork-Chop on July 10, 2013 at 9:00 PM

The state is interested in sponsoring portable toilets at concerts in an effort to reach uninsured young adults.

By the time I’ve ever had to use a portable toilet at a concert I’ve never been coherent enough to read any kind of ad that might be on it.

Mark1971 on July 10, 2013 at 9:02 PM

Remember when some Demo-Rat introduced legislation prohibiting DoD from advertising at NASCAR? I think Republicans should introduce legislation prohibiting all advertisement of Obamacare under the guise of waste.

heretic on July 10, 2013 at 9:02 PM

In an attempt to reach young adults without insurance OCCU-poopers.

Pork-Chop on July 10, 2013 at 9:00 PM

…that’s the next plan!…put ads on the sides of cop cars!

KOOLAID2 on July 10, 2013 at 9:02 PM

In my almost sixty years I have been in one Porta-Potty, I am shooting for the same record for any involvement with Obamacare.

Cindy Munford on July 10, 2013 at 9:03 PM

The state is interested in sponsoring portable toilets at concerts in an effort to reach uninsured young adults.

How fitting. Obamacare is a big pile of poo.

canditaylor68 on July 10, 2013 at 9:04 PM

867-5309….

Call for a good lie..

Electrongod on July 10, 2013 at 9:04 PM

In my almost sixty years I have been in one Porta-Potty…

Cindy Munford on July 10, 2013 at 9:03 PM

…did all the hair…fall out of your nose?
(;->)

KOOLAID2 on July 10, 2013 at 9:05 PM

Ads in Port-A-Johns?

How about this:
“ObamaCare: lift the seat lid to see what’s in it”.

DaveDief on July 10, 2013 at 9:07 PM

Perfect!

This whole thing is a piece of SH*T

txdoc on July 10, 2013 at 9:08 PM

How about this:
“ObamaCare: lift the seat lid to see what’s in it”.

DaveDief on July 10, 2013 at 9:07 PM

LOL.

You must pass it first…

Electrongod on July 10, 2013 at 9:08 PM

Ads in Port-A-Johns?

How about this:
“ObamaCare: lift the seat lid to see what’s in it”.

DaveDief on July 10, 2013 at 9:07 PM

…that their is funny…I don’t care who you are!

KOOLAID2 on July 10, 2013 at 9:09 PM

Back when I was still working on construction sites, I always found myself pondering medical insurance everytime I had to use the fiberglass out-house.
.
Can you imagine some of the jokes that construction workers will come up with over this?

listens2glenn on July 10, 2013 at 9:10 PM

Cindy Munford on July 10, 2013 at 9:03 PM

+ 100..Hear!..Hear!!..:)

PS..Great to see you..:)

Dire Straits on July 10, 2013 at 9:12 PM

In my almost sixty years I have been in one Porta-Potty.

Cindy Munford on July 10, 2013 at 9:03 PM

.
Aw c’mon ….. you don’t know what you’re missing !

listens2glenn on July 10, 2013 at 9:14 PM

I called 867-5309.

Some chick named Jenny answered.

wolly4321 on July 10, 2013 at 9:15 PM

They should print the bill on the rolls.

Let’em read the bill.

wolly4321 on July 10, 2013 at 9:17 PM

I called 867-5309.

Some chick named Jenny answered.

wolly4321 on July 10, 2013 at 9:15 PM

.
Did she give you a good time?

listens2glenn on July 10, 2013 at 9:17 PM

KOOLAID2 on July 10, 2013 at 9:05 PM

It was a memorable experience that convinced me there was no good reason to repeat it. It may not be possible but I’m going to try.

Cindy Munford on July 10, 2013 at 9:18 PM

They will hire all of these people to twirl arrows with OCARE info printed on them with a backdrop of balloons at every street corner.Maybe they will be wearing Statue of Liberty costumns.It’s going to be like a circus.

docflash on July 10, 2013 at 9:19 PM

Dire Straits on July 10, 2013 at 9:12 PM

You to, how’s life?

Cindy Munford on July 10, 2013 at 9:19 PM

Okay — Who among you would have ever thought to advertise anything on a Port-A-John?

Liam on July 10, 2013 at 9:20 PM

Obamacare will be advertised on porta-potties. In an attempt to reach young adults without insurance, that’s just one of the ideas being tossed around by supporters. And, yes, you’re paying for all of this . . . . . . . . .

Mary Katharine Ham

.
I don’t mind paying for it, as long as it generates a good monetary return ……. like Amtrak, or wind turbines.

listens2glenn on July 10, 2013 at 9:23 PM

During the Great Depression poor people lived in Hoovervilles. Now, during the Greatest Depression, poor people can crap in Obama-potties, which will no doubt be one of Barack’s more enduring legacies.

Hermeticus on July 10, 2013 at 9:24 PM

OMG—-ROFLMAO

Evening all.

CoffeeLover on July 10, 2013 at 9:25 PM

No LTG,, she jilted me, and I got arrested.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WTdTwcmxyo&feature=youtube_gdata_player

wolly4321 on July 10, 2013 at 9:29 PM

Desperation personified!

OldEnglish on July 10, 2013 at 9:33 PM

What strikes me is how unaware the cr@ppy law’s promoters are of the created perception.

The smartest administration ever. Huh.

22044 on July 10, 2013 at 9:41 PM

New Obamacare plan: Porta-john ads are gonna get this thing right back on track

Libtard brain power.

But…given the fact that these numbskulls are indeed in office I think it may actually have some effect!

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 10, 2013 at 9:42 PM

They swore up and down that cost control was central to Obamacare; the bill would have been even less popular had they suggested that it would be deficit increasing, rather than decreasing our Gross National Overdraft.

Cost controls never had anything to do with BarkyCare (other than the death panels to just stop treatments for unsavory people who like America). Of course, all of us knew that BarkyCare was going to blow a giant hole in the budget but Barky and his junta tried to fill all that in not with cost controls but with taxes (property taxes, medical device taxes, tanning salon taxes, …) and an un-Constitutional, un-American, idiotic penalty to force everyone into buying overpriced, ridiculously structured health insurance from feral government certified front companies.

On top of that, we all know that the BS Barky and his gang of criminals pulled was to have the retarded CBO figure out 10 years of taxes and penalties with only 6 years of outlays (and insanely ridiculous projections on those).

But, none of this is any surprise to anyone with more than two brain cells to rub together. We all knew this was exactly what was going to happen (not that Barky would exercise his full dictatorial powers of the Sukarno office to change, amend, and rewrite the illegal and un-Constitutional BarkyCare law however he felt but that this whole idiotic law – passed through illegally in dozens of different ways – was a failure from even before it got started … as it was always intended to be, anyway).

If this society had any self-respect left, everyone involved in the BarkyCare crime would be sitting in jail – from Barky and his junta to all the Congress critters who tried to Demon Pass and pull every illegal string in the book to shove this through to that back-stabbing idiot Stupak and his bunch of illiterate America-haters who dragged it over the finish line … They all deserve jail and HARD LABOR for the rest of their pathetic, destructive, worthless lives. They are the lowest scum the Earth has ever puked up (though Rubio, McShame and the GOP leadership – who didn’t actually do squat to stop BarkyCare, BTW – are giving these slimeballs a crawl for their money).

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 10, 2013 at 9:48 PM

0′s Shithouses™

Bmore on July 10, 2013 at 9:49 PM

I don’t see the problem. The same freaking low-info voters that put that idiot in office are “unaware” of ObamaCare.

How appropriate.

GarandFan on July 10, 2013 at 9:50 PM

How about this:
“ObamaCare: lift the seat lid to see what’s in it”.

DaveDief on July 10, 2013 at 9:07 PM

LOL.

You must pass it first…

Electrongod on July 10, 2013 at 9:08 PM

ROFLMAO!

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 10, 2013 at 9:53 PM

I forever dub these PortObamas.

faraway on July 10, 2013 at 10:40 PM

The only ads I’ve ever seen in a porta-potty had to do with getting screwed. So, I guess they’ll fit right in!

boomer on July 10, 2013 at 10:49 PM

Skip the port a potties, they should advertise on toilet paper. That way I at least have the satisfaction of wiping my *ss with it.

tommer74 on July 10, 2013 at 11:16 PM

“Because when you’re pinching off 2 pounds of baby brown, think of Kate Sebelius!”

Chuck Schick on July 11, 2013 at 12:45 AM

Is this their idea of Bathroom Humor?

jaydee_007 on July 11, 2013 at 1:25 AM

What? It’s a problem trying to convince the young and broke to shell out lots of dollars for something they can’t use to show how cool they are and don’t need?

Wow, who could have seen that coming?

Chris of Rights on July 11, 2013 at 6:45 AM

If the obama administration is trying to appeal to the OWS crowd, shouldn’t the ad be on the side of cop cars?

HumpBot Salvation on July 11, 2013 at 7:59 AM

It’s going to be like a circus.

docflash on July 10, 2013 at 9:19 PM

Going to be? It already is.

They should print the bill on the rolls.

Let’em read the bill.

wolly4321 on July 10, 2013 at 9:17 PM

Well, that would pretty much guarantee the toilet paper wouldn’t run out. I’m pretty sure that roll wouldn’t fit in the holder, though.

You must pass it first…

Electrongod on July 10, 2013 at 9:08 PM

Uh huh.

GWB on July 11, 2013 at 8:58 AM

In Connecticut, selling Obamacare involves renting an airplane.

What do they do, fly a banner over the beaches advertising an “IRS Fine Oktoberfest”?

Ad on Porta-potty: This smells like Obamacare.

Or: Wasted away again in Obamaville.

And, finally, a PSA for us from Phil Klein. Don’t get cocky. It can sometimes be lost in the political shuffle, but it’s quite ungratifying to be proven right about legislation when the most damaging parts of it will remain, hurting consumers, scaring the bejeezus out of families and business owners, and generally leaving people with worse care than they had back when 85 percent of them were basically happy with their health insurance before Obama decided to “fix” it.

Is Phil Klein trying to tell “us” conservatives, or the Obamacare salesmen, not to get cocky?

Steve Z on July 11, 2013 at 9:22 AM

…few Americans are aware of how the Affordable Care Act works

And an ad in a porta-potty is going fix that? Businesses are spending millions (billions?) of their own money trying to figure out how it works!

taznar on July 11, 2013 at 9:42 AM

I will reject the purchase of ANYTHING that comes with Obamacare advertising on it.

If it happens to you, speak up. Speak to the Manager of establishment and tell that you refuse to be a customer for-ever and for-always.

Carnac on July 11, 2013 at 10:56 AM

What next? A we going to be forced to pay (as taxpayers) for pro-Obamacare graffiti?

sadatoni on July 11, 2013 at 11:14 AM

BTW, there’s a great bluegrass song:

“I met my baby in the porta-john line.”
It’s sung by Nothin’ Fancy.

Galtian on July 11, 2013 at 2:19 PM

A recent poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation showed 42 percent of Americans to be uncertain about whether the health-care law still stands. Gallup found last month that 43 percent of the uninsured were not aware of the law’s requirement to buy health insurance coverage.

Well what does the law look like right this minute?
Will Obama delay/defer/change/adapt it tomorrow?

Even if you studied the thing critically in January of this year to prepare; you’re badly out of date now… and the LAW hasn’t changed, but the implementation rules have somehow magically changed to something not written down anywhere.

How the heck could anyone NOT be confused at this point?

I’m thinking the goal is for everyone to be confused so they can selectively fine/prosecute/punish those they have already selected for punishment regardless what anyone does.

Naah, that sounds crazy… next I’ll think the IRS is targeting people for political views, the DOJ is spying on reporters, and the NSA is collecting phone metadata and all e-mail information being sent in the country.

Oh… well damn. When did we decide to make every paranoid conspiracy sound reasonable, rational, and probable?

gekkobear on July 11, 2013 at 6:54 PM