This anti-Obamacare ad's last image is the one that will haunt you.
That's when we see Uncle Sam—actually a lifeless plastic-masked version of him that reminds me of the creepy Burger King guy—playing a gynecologist, standing between the legs of a young woman who is in stirrups, terrified and squirming.
Our national icon then holds up a speculum, the gynecological tool women are intimately familiar with from pap smears, and opens it wide... In fact, he opens it way too far.
Way too far. That's where the ad goes, too, in its effort to literally scare young people out of enrolling for health insurance under President Barack Obama's sweeping healthcare reforms.
Having read the massive law, allow me to personally assure you: Nowhere in the reform package is there a rule that your gynecologist has to leave the room to allow a creep in a costume to conduct your pelvic exam.
The Virginia-based group behind the ad, Generation Opportunity, call their organization a "free-thinking, liberty-loving, national organization of young people promoting the best of Being American: opportunity, creativity and freedom."
Fitting since it's clear they took some creative freedoms with this farce of an ad.
The ad represents a last-ditch effort to roll back federal health reform where Republicans have tried and repeatedly failed. The coalition of right-leaning organizations (with financial ties to the billionare conservative activists Charles and David Koch) has come up with the approach to undermine the law by getting people to avoid using their benefits, according to Yahoo! News.
The group wants young people to opt-out of finding health insurance through the state exchanges, and pay the fine for not having a policy—instead of going along with the national plan to make sure all young people have health insurance policies.
"What we're trying to communicate is, 'No, you're actually not required to buy health insurance,' " Generation Opportunity President Evan Feinberg told Yahoo News in an interview. "You might have to pay a fine, but that's going to be cheaper for you and better for you."
The use of "better for you" seems like an ironic statement coming from the non-doctors standing in the way of the sort of regular preventive healthcare that insured people have regular access to.
At best, maybe you'll save money on a premium in the short term—but what if you're unlucky enough to get sick, get hit by a car...or just need to see a doctor for any reason? If your treatment is costly, you run the risk of bankrupting yourself and your entire family, since medical bills are the number one reason American families go broke.
Doesn't make a ton of sense.
Here's what they're really doing: Tricking young people to opt-out means a typically healthy segment of the population is not paying premiums. In health insurance, premiums are mathematically determined by the health of the population. So, in effect, healthy people's premiums help pay the costs of sick people. One of Obamacare's promises is reduced insurance costs by drawing everyone into the markets. The strategy here is to undermine that endgame.
Though that would be impossible to guess since the Uncle Sam ad seems to discourage preventive health care for women—the young lady in the ad isn't complaining of any illness—more than the ad talks about health insurance.
But college students can ask Gen-Opp for better explanations in person when the group goes on a tour of 20 college campuses this fall, with attractive young brand ambassadors handing out schwag, to influence young people at tailgate parties and campus activities.
The first question might be what exactly their advertisement has to do with health insurance.