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Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Koch brothers’ long, expensive effort to derail Obamacare is taking an exceptionally creepy turn, with a new series of ads featuring Uncle Sam as a threatening gynecologist and proctologist straight out of a horror movie.

The ads, which attempt to dissuade young Americans from purchasing health insurance in a last-ditch effort to sabotage the Affordable Care Act’s health care exchanges — which rely on young, healthy Americans to subsidize sick and elderly Americans with higher health care costs — truly must be seen to be believed.

Yahoo! News’ Chris Moody reports that the ads are part of a broader campaign to make it seem hip to forego health care coverage:

Generation Opportunity, a Virginia-based group that is part of a coalition of right-leaning organizations with financial ties to billionaire businessmen and political activists Charles and David Koch, will launch a six-figure campaign aimed at convincing young people to “opt out” of the Obamacare exchanges. Later this month, the group will begin a tour of 20 college campuses, where they plan to set up shop alongside pro-Obamacare activists such as Enroll America, who are working to sign people up for the insurance exchanges.

Generation Opportunity intends to host events at college football tailgate parties festivals, where “brand ambassadors” (read: hot young people) will pass out beer koozies that read, “opt out,” pizza, and literature about the health care law. Some events may have impromptu dance parties with DJs, complete with games of Cornhole and competitions for prizes, organizers said.

Their message: You don’t have to sign up for Obamacare. And they want students to sign a pledge not get insurance plans set up by the law.

To this point, the right’s longstanding effort to scare young Americans away from the Affordable Care Act — which has included misinformation, silly ads, and gimmicks like burning fictional “Obamacare cards” — has failed to turn young people away from the law. On the contrary: Recent polling has suggested that young people are more receptive to the exchanges than other age groups. Can the Koch brothers’ new message of “if you buy health insurance, Uncle Sam will rape you” turn the tide? It’s theoretically possible, but given the track record of similarly over-the-top attack ads, it seems highly unlikely.

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