Sex, binge drinking to sell Obamacare? How not to market insurance

Images from Progress Now Colorado Education/Colorado Consumer Health Initiative

It’s an old marketing maxim — sex sells. And since nothing else is helping Obamacare sell (fewer than 27,000 people have successfully signed up for health insurance through the dangerously insecure federal Obamacare website), supporters in Colorado have decided to give this notion a try.

A raunchy ad campaign by ProgressNow Colorado and the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative shows an excited woman holding a packet of birth-control pills next to a man with his arm around her waist. The caption reads, “OMG, he’s hot! Let’s hope he’s as easy to get as this birth control. My health insurance covers the pill, which means all I have to worry about is getting him between the covers.”

And people shook their heads when I wrote about feminism’s link to the hook-up culture. Still not convinced?


A second ad has an excited young woman and a cardboard cutout of actor Ryan Gosling telling her, “You’re excited about easy access to birth control and I’m excited to get to know you.”

Yikes! Could this be much more degrading to women? What exactly does this ad say about the Democrats’ view of women, especially young women? Don’t they take women’s health issues seriously?

Or maybe we shouldn’t be surprised as this is more of the same feminist drivel that the Democrats used in Obama’s last election campaign. (Sandra Fluke, women who were sexualized, objectified and dressed up like vulvas at the Democrat National Convention, appealing to women’s “lady parts,” and comparing voting to losing your virginity with Obama all come to mind.)

Isn’t it no longer acceptable, at least publicly, to demean women as mere sex objects? I guess it’s OK if it sells something having to do with the Democrats, be it their elections or the Obamacare debacle.

If sex isn’t doing the trick, how about using alcohol to appeal to young voters? We can view women in party mode downing shots from a “shot ski,” who will apparently use the money saved on flu shots to spend on “fun shots” instead.


And lest we forget young men, a “Brosurance” ad features guys doing keg stands letting them know that they’ll have more beer money with Obamacare. How responsible — let’s get young adults to sign up for Obamacare by encouraging binge drinking!

These ads were so disgusting and offensive that many people thought they were actually GOP parodies of Obamacare, but that’s not the case. In fact, Amy Runyon-Harms, the executive director of ProgressNow Colorado, is quite delighted with their impact, telling the Denver Post that the ads were intended to raise awareness and engage young people, in particular.

“It’s great that more and more people are talking about it,” she said, adding that the ads only appear on social media and would not be displayed on billboards or buses. (Well, thank goodness for small mercies.)

Um, who exactly is this great for, Ms. Runyon-Harms? The young women portrayed as one-dimensional, single-minded, silly sex objects? Perhaps the young people who are stuck on their parents’ insurance policy because they can’t find full-time work? The young people among the 10,000 Mainers who have lost their health insurance because of Obamacare? Young people whose rates are going to increase because of Obamacare?

And why is it that the left always brushes any and all criticism away of any rubbish they dream up with it being necessary to “raise awareness?” Please.

Obamacare will work, according to Obamacare supporters, by roping healthy youngsters into enrolling in droves so they can pay to prop up older, sicker patients. (Unless those birth control pills fail or the binge drinking results in a trip to the hospital.)

Of course, Harvard Law School-educated President Obama and his apologists think that we are too stupid to purchase health insurance on our own. After lying repeatedly about “if you like your plan you can keep it,” he continues to refer to the “substandard” policies we have now and insist that his fully comprehensive plans are the only thing between you and financial destruction brought on by health care expenses.

And by the way, U.S. Reps. Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree agree with this assessment of their constituents as they just voted against legislation designed to ensure Americans (including over 10,000 Mainers) can keep their old insurance plans that have been canceled or jeopardized by Obamacare.

Well, Runyon-Harms wanted to garner some attention, and she did accomplish her objective. Too bad it was all bad.

Susan Dench

About Susan Dench

Susan Dench is the founder and president of the fast-growing non-profit, non-partisan Informed Women's Network. Recognizing that many women are tired of "politics as usual," Susan decided to take action and develop strategies that are innovating the way women and politics intersect, nurturing and encouraging women in fun, energetic gatherings where views can be expressed in a supportive environment and then translated into practical solutions that produce results.