Obamacare activists STRIP to their underwear in taxpayer-funded, PETA-style stunt to persuade young Coloradoans to ‘get covered’

By  David Martosko, U.s. Political Editor

PUBLISHED: 15:53 EST, 3  October 2013 |  UPDATED: 16:25 EST, 3 October 2013

Obamacare organizers in Colorado are taking  Obamacare promotion to a new low – at least in terms of their dress  code.

A health insurance provider is sending  20-something activists out on the streets of Denver in their underwear to  persuade young people to ‘get covered.’

The resulting photos and video footage, which  the organization published on Instagram this week, has a protest flavor that  comes complete with a Twitter hashtag: #getcoveredCO.

And U.S. taxpayers are footing the bill for  the risque street performances through a federal government loan.

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Cheeky: Denver's Generation Y is being treated to a gander at healthy bodies while they decide whether they like Obamacare

Cheeky: Denver’s Generation Y is being treated to a  gander at healthy bodies while they decide whether they like Obamacare

The message, 'Without health insurance, you're exposed,' was likely cooked up in a late-night college dorm bull session

The message, ‘Without health insurance, you’re exposed,’  was likely cooked up in a late-night college dorm bull session

ColoradoHealthOP, a statewide insurance co-op  that favors full enrollment in Obamacare and sells the policies through the  state’s exchange, says it  was ‘approved for federal funding within the  Affordable Care Act in July 2012.’

The group’s Instagram photos show a cadre of  five college-age activists in their skivvies, carrying strategically placed ‘Get  Covered’ signs while they talk to their recruitment targets.

The Affordable Care Act’s coverage model  depends on enrolling 7 million Americans, including at least 2.5 million young  people.

Without the insurance premiums from the young  and healthy to offset the higher costs associated with being old and sick, the  Obamacare system won’t be funded enough to sustain itself.

The Associated Press reported in July that Connect For Health Colorado, the state’s Obamacare  exchange, is spending more than $21 million to promote enrollment, and that the  funds are coming from federal government grants.

About $17 million of that money has gone to  58 separate Colorado organizations that are making person-to-person pitches and  helping people – especially young people – sign up for Obamacare.

ColoradoHealthOP CEO Julia Hutchins confirmed  that her organization was formed to sell insurance policies  via the Connect for  Health Colorado marketplace. But she denied that any money changes hands between  the two.

‘We, as a co-op health plan, received our own  federal loan money to start a health insurance company that is member-governed,’  she said.

‘And part of the plan we submitted to apply  for the loan money included outreach expenses, and that promotion, the underwear  thing, was part of it.’

Hashtag fun: A clothed Amy Poehler joined other celebs to encourage a mass rush to Obamacare on its first day of open enrollment -- a strategy that hasn't worked so far

Hashtag fun: A clothed Amy Poehler joined other celebs  to encourage a mass rush to Obamacare on its first day of open enrollment — a  strategy that hasn’t worked so far

This pair flashed their skin Tuesday on Denver's 16th Street pedestrian malll, but the photo suggests they didn't have many takers

This pair flashed their skin Tuesday on Denver’s 16th  Street pedestrian malll, but the photo suggests they didn’t have many  takers

Hutchins said that while she wants to sell  insurance plans to young Coloradoans, the stunt’s stripped-down nature was  equally aimed at the older set.

‘Surprisingly, they really did catch the  attention of everybody,’ she said. It was amazing … Our board members, who are  mostly in their 50s and 60s, would have loved to be there.’

The scantily clad Denver street team handed out brochures to anyone who would come within arm-s reach

The scantily clad Denver street team handed out  brochures to anyone who would come within arm-s reach

Colorado policy experts who don’t agree with  the concept of Obamacare, or the use of their tax dollars to promote it, aren’t  impressed.

‘It’s a bad day for Obamacare when proponents  have to hire models to dress like Miley Cyrus to walk the streets of Denver,’  said Compass Colorado executive director  Kelly Maher.

‘These PETA-style stunts show how truly  desperate they are to get people to sign up for these plans.

Compass Colorado is a conservative group that  argues for fiscal responsibility and smaller government.

PETA, or People for the Ethical Treatment of  Animals, is a group that promotes the improbable and unpopular position that  food, laboratory and fur-bearing animals should have legal rights. Its most  famous for its naked protests that draw attention to its cause.

Jon Caldara, president of  the libertarian-leaning Colorado think tank the  Independence Institute,  told MailOnline  that taking off your clothes isn’t the best way to sell the  merits of the president’s health  insurance overhaul.

‘There  are people who need better health  care in America,’ Caldara said, ‘and what are we  saying to them – that we’re  spending taxpayer money selling these plans  the way a beer company advertises  their product?’

‘This money could be  spent on actual health  care. Give me the hot chicks without the bad  policy and maybe I could be  sold.’

Stripping down is part of the toolbox at PETA, where grabbing attention is the #1 priority

Stripping down is part of the toolbox at PETA, where sex  sells and grabbing attention is the #1 priority


Video Source: Instagram

MailOnline reported  yesterday that some state-level health exchanges have seen fewer than 1 out of  100 website visitors signing up for their insurance plans since they launched  Monday at midnight. Colorado’s exchange administrators didn’t respond to a  request for statistics for that story.

The White House insisted on Wednesday that it  doesn’t have data showing how many Americans have signed up for health insurance  through the federal government’s flagship website, healthcare.gov. The Obama  administration did, however, publish the numbers of Web hits the site received,  along with state covering phone calls and online chats it conducted.

And a Washington Post blogger  pleaded Thursday morning with members of the public who have successfully signed  up for Obamacare coverage to come forward.

‘As of yet, we haven’t tracked this person –  or these people – down,’ the Post writer explained.T’his is not for lack of  effort. Reporters here at The Washington Post and at other publications have  been on the hunt for this mythical creature.’

Connect For Health Colorado, the official  Obamacare insurance exchange in the state said it’s not affiliated with the  nearly-naked stunt. ‘This is not our promotion,’ Bragg-Gamble said in an  email.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2442710/Colorado-Obamacare-activists-STRIP-underwear-persuade-people-covered.html#ixzz2gimoiGaL Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook