I’m beyond arguing about Obamacare and its screwy, helpless Website but of course, millions of people are rolling around enjoying the mess, and perhaps coming to believe the English language should have a word like schadenfreude.
Tonight on “The Daily Show,” we’re told by the conservative Website, The Blaze.com that the Republican National Committee is running the 30 second ad in which it lampoons the eminently lampoonable Obamacare Website. You can see the ad here. Unless you live in Washington, D.C., you won’t see it where you live. The RNC only bought the ad in D.C. though it has produced a total of four ads all on the same basic theme, and with the same two actors, trying to do a version of the 2010 Apple ad in which the suave Apple guy smirked at the dumpy, clumsy PC guy.
This one opens with the Apple character renamed “The Private Sector” and the slobby fellow on the ground-- “down for a little maintenance”-- named Obamacare.
Subsequent ads in this series follow the same theme, and seem to suggest it will be the government providing the health care under Obamacare, not the private sector.
But really, who cares about facts? Another few distortions added on to the piles—and there are two piles but one is much larger than the other—won’t make much difference.
One thing even Obama critics acknowledge is that his team knows how to use the Internet and social media. I began rethinking how brilliant they really are when I heard how long the White House was going to wait before starting to publicize the law’s implementation. It started far too late to get the message across. Under the best of circumstances, buying health insurance is sure to give you at least one headache. Add three years of misinformation to that and it fairly shouted to me that a major media campaign was in order.
But, for young people and millions of others who have made YouTube the second largest search engine, a search of the two easiest terms—Obamacare and Affordable Care Act turns up an incredible paucity of videos, done either by the government or Obamacare backers that would help someone learn about the law. Certainly, I’m not urging the government spend a ton of money on propaganda, but the fact is, the government usually does spend a ton of money on propaganda. Not this time, apparently. And this is the president who is the maestro of the Internet.
There are dozens of anti-healthcare videos, far more than there are supportive, or just objective ones.
Perusing YouTube, you’ll find a White House White Board, an animated video that has been seen by all of 172,952 people. And there’s a Health and Human Services video—from the 1960s Filmstrip School of Video Art—that has been seen by fewer than 43,000 people.
A couple videos by the Kaiser Foundation were useful, especially one narrated by Cokie Roberts that was wholly positive but did acknowledge pitfalls. Roberts predicted, “Politicians and pundits will be talking to you as if you’ve got no idea what’s in that 1,000 page law.” She’s correct, of course. Even a week before the launch of the Website, a Pew-USA Today disclosed 40% of the people who don’t have health insurance didn’t know they were going to need to do it by next year.
That Obamacare Website failed long before Oct. 1.