Noel Sheppard: As NewsBusters has been reporting for months, late night comics have been tearing the atrocious rollout of ObamaCare apart. Conceivably the best job done to date was by ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel who during his opening monologue Tuesday evening absolutely savaged the law whilst ridiculing the uninformed young people in this country that have ignorantly supported something that clearly harms them (video follows with transcript and commentary):
JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST: The rollout of the Affordable Care Act continues to be terrible. First, there was technical problems with the Healthcare.gov website. Now comes news that not enough young and healthy Americans are signing up for coverage, which is crucial for the success of the program. The way insurance works is you need all the young healthy people to pay for insurance and not use it until they get old and unhealthy. And so far, only a quarter of the 2.2 million people who signed up are between 18 to 34, 24 percent.
The White House was hoping for closer to 38 percent. Why they would hope that, I don't know. They expect young people to buy insurance at the same time the PlayStation 4 comes out? You know, if you want young people to sign up, maybe you shouldn’t have made the law so that you can stay on your parents’ plan until you turn 26. What kid is going to say, “You know, no thanks, mom and dad, I've got the premiums covered actually?”
The deadline to sign up is March 31. In my experience, if you want to get young people to do something, all you have to do is tell them specifically not to do something. Right? Or give ten free lives in Candy Crush to the first two million subscribers.
But just to make sure the younger people do sign up, the Obama administration is rolling out a new ad campaign that's targeted specifically at the young and vibrant.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX: Hi. I'm Alex, and this is my wife Martha, and we're both approaching the big 6-0.
MARTHA: And we have health care issues to deal with.
ALEX: I take blood pressure medication.
MARTHA: And Levitra.
ALEX: Yes. And Martha’s got beta blockers and something for her osteoporosis. And it’s not cheap.
MARTHA: But fortunately we don't have to pay for it.
ALEX: No, you do.
MARTHA: That’s right. You young people are paying for our drugs and our doctors.
ALEX: Not to mention our Social Security and our Medicare when we retire to Boca. And you know why?
MARTHA: Because you don't vote.
ALEX: And we do.
MARTHA: That’s right. Hope you enjoy that Burning Guy festival.
ALEX: Come on, Martha, let's go find that Levitra.
MARTHA: Oh, Alex!
ANNOUNCER: The Affordable Care Act. Next time, maybe pick up a newspaper.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KIMMEL: A newspaper FYI is like an iPad made of trees.
A bit later, Kimmel continued:
KIMMEL: In case you aren’t disgusted enough with government waste, a watchdog agency that monitors government spending has just revealed that penis pumps between the years 2006 and 2011 cost the U.S. Medicare program how much? $172 million. I didn't even know penis pumps were a real thing. I thought it was like x-ray specs or something. But apparently they are. They're one of the available treatments for erectile dysfunction. Medicare paid for almost half a million of them.
Wow, imagine how the countries that we owe money to feel about that. “They're over there blowing it on penis pumps.” I don't want to be reactionary. I know a lot of these programs sound dumber than they actually are when you analyze them, but it does seem like a waste. Although some Americans seem to be pretty happy about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX (IN BED WITH MARTHA): Hi. Alex and Martha again.
MARTHA: We just wanted to say thank you for the penis pump.
ALEX: Yeah. I can't believe you got this for me. You guys are the greatest. Now back to your unpaid internships.
MARTHA: You're bad.
ALEX: Let me show you how bad. (Alex and Martha then slip under the covers.)
ANNOUNCER: The Affordable Care Act. Yup, you’re paying for that too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KIMMEL: Thanks Alex and Martha.
However, this raises a question: with the exception of the penis pump issue, everything that Kimmel addressed was known before ObamaCare was enacted.
Certainly, America’s youth are woefully uninformed – but why is that?
Assume for a moment that as this bill was being crafted, and well before it was rammed through both chambers of Congress without one Republican vote, America’s media had actually informed the public about what was in the legislation.
Imagine if news outlets other than conservative ones explained that the entire concept of the law was that healthy young people were going to be required to buy something they didn’t need so that older, less healthy people would either get health insurance for free or more cheaply.
Imagine if news outlets other than conservative ones explained that young people were also going to be required to buy something they didn’t need so that Medicaid could be expanded offering “free” healthcare to more lower income people.
Imagine if MTV for example brought on experts to discuss how this law was going to impact its young viewers rather than showing public service announcements featuring actors and musicians selling them on why they should support something that clearly wasn’t in their best interest.
Without question, if America’s media had behaved responsibly in 2009 and 2010, the calls and emails to Congress opposing this legislation would have been so voluminous it never would have passed.
But instead, with the exception of the conservative outlets, America’s media were 100 percent behind this legislation aiding and abetting the President and his Party to enact something that virtually all late night comics agree is a total joke.
For his part, Kimmel is to be commended for this segment, as are all the other late night hosts that have been savaging this bill.
But the nation would have been far better served if they did this in 2009 and 2010 before this farce was enacted, for unless Republicans take back the Senate in 2014 and the White House in 2016, ObamaCare may be with us forever.
And THAT'S no laughing matter.