Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, September 30, 2013
Maine Sen. Angus King better watch what he wishes for. The freshman senator told Salon magazine Friday that “well-heeled conservative groups” like Generation Opportunity are trying to undermine President Obama’s Affordable Care Act by “appealing to uninsured young people to remain uninsured,” even going so far as to accuse them of being guilty of murder.
“That’s a scandal — those people are guilty of murder in my opinion,” King, an Independent former governor of the Pine Tree State who caucuses with Democrats, told Salon’s Brian Beutler. “Some of those people they persuade are going to end up dying because they don’t have health insurance. For people who do that to other people in the name of some obscure political ideology is one of the grossest violations of our humanity I can think of. This absolutely drives me crazy.”
While he does not call out Generation Opportunity, a non-partisan organization that advocates for economic freedom for young people, by name, it is clear that he is referring to the organization and its “Opt out of Obamacare” campaign. As part of the campaign’s kick-off, the organization released two web videos of unsuspecting young Americans visiting the doctor for their annual exams. After the doctor tells the patients to strip down for the examination and leaves the room so they can do so, a creepy Uncle Sam figure appears on the screen to scare them out of joining the law’s healthcare exchanges.
If that’s not scary enough, there’s actually a striking resemblance between the senator and the Uncle Sam puppet:
“Senator King should be embarrassed by his comments equating our recent efforts to educate young people on their healthcare options to … murder,” Generation Opportunity President Evan Feinberg told Red Alert Politics in an email. ”Good thing Senator King is an ‘Independent,’ otherwise Democratic leadership would have to repudiate these asinine comments.”
Americans are scheduled to begin opting into the healthcare exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday, regardless of whether or not the government shuts down Monday night.
The success of the healthcare exchanges hinges largely on how many Millennials opt-in to the program, as they are less likely to need healthcare services than their elders. As a result, many young Americans will pay astronomical fees for health insurance they don’t need. In order to keep young Americans in the exchanges, the Obama administration has gone so far as to unsuccessfully court professional athletes and celebrities to promote the benefits of the healthcare exchanges to Millennials. Even the satirical website “Funny or Die” jumped on the promotional bandwagon Monday, releasing a “Scandal”-themed web video featuring actress and singer Jennifer Hudson to lure young adults into joining the exchanges.