Tuesday, 26 November 2013

A Short Essay on the Affordable Healthcare Act

Generally, if you were going review the opening of some stripper bar in town at the weekly city council meeting....there'd be at least five hundred people to show up.  It'd be a lively discussion.

Generally, if you were going to discuss the potential bill to limit gun sales in your county at the monthly county council meeting....there'd be two thousand folks to show up.  It'd be a lively discussion.

Generally, if you were going to discuss dismissing your local fire department chief for improper behavior (like driving the fire truck while drunk and only in boxer shorts)....there'd likely be four hundred folks to show up.  It'd be a lively discussion.

Down in New Mexico....as part of the Affordable Healthcare Act....there's the NMIX.  These are the folks in charge of the state health insurance exchange.

The NMIX folks have known there's this vast "unknown" in their neck of the woods.  The majority of folks will say they've heard about the Affordable Healthcare Act, and it's mostly enough knowledge to write on a 3x5 inch card.  Sadly, the knowledge is common word by mouth type info.  And most folks are a bit negative with what they do know.

So the NMIX folks have planned out these seminars.  The Farmington Daily Times went and interviewed on the topic, and the seminars.

Basically....what can be said....is that these seminars were planned, and widely advertised.  In one case, a local Chamber of Commerce was going to sponsor the seminar, and noted a free meal from the deal.  I'd take a guess it was a plate lunch at some mom-and-pop operation....but usually....a free meal is a pretty good incentive to show up.

Well....it just didn't sell.  Even after offering the free meal and a seminar to get smart on the Affordable Healthcare Act....they basically got seven folks signed up.  I can only take a guess here, but they were likely hoping for at least a hundred....maybe even three hundred.

The NMIX folks aren't saying much.  They'd like to inform more people, and get more folks to grasp and understand the whole thing.  But there's just not any public interest....even if you offer a free dinner.

In Bama, folks tend to get an invitation or two each year to a free fish-fry.  You get a card to show up one evening at some local cafe.  There's going to be some county agent talking up genetically modified soybeans, mad-cow disease, or a government grant program to plant pines on your property.  It might be some doctor from Memphis there to talk up hip replacements or swine-flu shots.  Heck, you might even get a Braves catcher....there to talk about the Braves in 2014, and if they've got a decent relief pitcher.....emphasizing Saturday ticket prices and a local bus running to Atlanta every Saturday morning at 6AM.  Folks show up, and listen.  Not just dozens....maybe two hundred folks.

But the Affordable Healthcare Act?  It's just not stimulating conversation.  Folks tend to see it as a gimmick.  No one read the bill before they passed it.  No one really told you much of the truth during the ramp-up phase.  And the cost factor is a bit more than you remember that CNN guy talking about back in 2011.

My advice for the NMIX folks?  Talk the local used car dealer into offering a 1994 Honda Civic as a door prize for the presentation of the healthcare information.  Talk some Best Buy franchise into offering a $299 big-screen TV for a door prize.  Note that you've got a dancer from the Bottoms-Up strip club to shake hands with folks after the presentation.  You could even go out and recruit four guys from a NBC daily soap opera show to come in and be part of the seminar....acting like their characters and telling all the positives.  A gimmick.  Yep, you need a gimmick.....to sell a gimmick.

It's a sad thing about America in this modern age.  Gimmicks don't sell....without another gimmick.

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