Not pictured: The actual Generation Opportunity tailgate party
I have long suspected that much of the motivation behind opposition to the health insurance mandate aspect of the Affordable Care Act comes from an “It won’t happen to me!“
attitude. I never suspected, however that they would actually go and state it as bluntly as Generation Opportunity did last weekend
The Koch brothers-funded Generation Opportunity — famous for its series of over-the-top advertisements trying to scare young Americans into not buying health coverage through Obamacare’s insurance marketplaces — took its opposition to health care reform to a whole new level on Saturday. The group threw a tailgate party during the University of Miami-Virginia Tech football that featured flashy cars, drinking games, models, a DJ, and plenty of “educational” material about why young people shouldn’t take advantage of Obamacare.
“We rolled in with a fleet of Hummers, F-150’s and Suburbans, each vehicle equipped with an 8’ high balloon bouquet floating overhead. We hired a popular student DJ from UMiami (DJ Joey), set up OptOut cornhole sets, *beer pong tables, bought 75 pizzas, and hired 8 ‘brand ambassadors’ aka models with bullhorns to help out,” wrote David Pasch, Generation Opportunity’s communication director, in en email to the Tampa Bay Times. “*Student activists independently brought (lots of) beer and liquor for consumption by those 21 and over. Oh yeah, and we educated students about their healthcare options outside the expensive and creepy Obamacare exchanges.”
The line of reasoning, as I understand it, is that college-age people tend to have fewer healthcare needs than older people, and therefore do not need the same level of coverage—therefore, they should not have to have health insurance coverage because Freedom. I suppose one could say my bias is showing, but if even one insurance-eschewing kid at that tailgate had drank too much and, say, gotten alcohol poisoning, fallen and sustained an injury, or crashed a car, our great Socialist state requires emergency rooms to provide them with treatment. Guess who pays for it if the student (or more likely the student’s parent[s]) doesn’t have the cash to cover the tab? I guess it’s our patriotic duty to subsidize liberty-loving college kids’ love of liberty. Or not.
Hell, even insurance-eschewing kids who avoid drinking and all other risky activities could still get hit by a car driven by a less-responsible individual, or even by an entirely-responsible individual who has a car accident for a near-infinite number of reasons. Of course, college-age kids never unexpectedly get sick, or for any other reason find themselves in sudden need of healthcare. Or not.
America: We have raised irresponsibility to an art form.
Photo credit: “Backyard tailgate party” by tobo [CC BY-SA 2.0], on Flickr.