An ad campaign started recently showing an Uncle Sam character performing a gynecological exam and a prostate exam, and the message was ‘keep government out of health care’. The ads are supposed to be directed at young people, encouraging them to opt out of health insurance. The goal is w/o young people subsidizing care the insurance industry will collapse (like it did in NY when they did guaranteed coverage, young people opted out). Too few young people will cause rates to hike for older folks, and cause Obamacare to collapse. That is the goal from what I can tell.
Aside from the obvious fact that people under 26 will still be covered by their parents (as well as the moral issues about a couple of billionaires like the Koch brothers telling young people to opt out of health insurance in the hopes it’ll collapse the health care system because their ideology is more valuable), this ad campaign really hits me about how there is a massive generational difference in how people view the public and private sector depending on their age.
For people 40+ who grew up under the threat of communism, who watched stagnation and high crime in the 70s, who watched the cultural revolution in the 60s and 70, and who watched the economy go up under Reagan I can see how they would have opinions that the public sector is bad (since they associate it with Carter and communism) and the private sector is good (since they associate it with the Reagan boom).
But for people under 35, communism was never a threat. The USSR fell in 1991, most people under 35 were too young to notice or care, if they were even alive.
Not only that but the biggest domestic threats facing young people come from the private sector. Energy companies contribute to climate change, then buy off media outlets and politicians to cover that up. A deregulated financial industry collapsed the economy, got off scot free and is now unregulated enough that they can (and probably will) do it again. Health care is poorly run and inhuman in the US. broadband companies have agreed not to compete, as a result broadband in the US is more expensive and lower quality than what is found in most of the wealthy world. Permatemping, part time low wage service sector work and unpaid internships have replaced reliable jobs with living wages and benefits. Rent a center and cash checking places prey on the desperate. After driving people into poverty, the laws were changed to prevent people from discharging student loans or making declaring bankruptcy harder. Companies move overseas where they can avoid environmental and labor standards if the opportunity presents itself, creating a race to the bottom with labor and environmental standards.
So there are all these cultural issues creating a generation that has learned the private sector is dangerous when unregulated and unrestrainted, and we need a public sector to protect people from it.
But the public sector is pretty inept anymore. So will people demand more government seeing how this is the same federal government that can’t really accomplish anything anymore?
I don’t really know what my debate is, but that ad campaign seems stupid. That is like teenagers trying to bribe the tea party with Justin Beiber tickets. Dale Carnegie wrote a long time ago that in order to influence someone, you have to think about what they want, not what you want.