WASHINGTON — As the battle over the health care law was grinding on — Republicans no closer to victory than when they forced the government shutdown — a different fight was rising on a recent Saturday from inside Sharkey's, a bar near the campus of Virginia Tech, 260 miles away.
Lured by free beer, gift cards and the chance to win an iPad, 100 students heard a pitch from the young staffers of a group named Generation Opportunity: Obamacare is a bad deal and you should opt out.
With enrollment in the insurance marketplaces under way, and tens of millions of taxpayer dollars being spent on a public awareness campaign, critics are aiming a provocative counter effort at a critical population: millennials, age 18 to 29, who may not feel the need or have the money for insurance.
ecause if too few young, healthy people sign up, Obamacare will be denied the financial blood to support older, more needy participants. So the race is on for the attention of 2.7 million people deemed necessary to enroll in the first year for Obamacare to be successful.
Generation Opportunity, which formed in 2011 and gets funding in part from the conservative Koch brothers, is about to embark on a tour of 20 college towns nationally, including a Nov. 9 stop at the University of Miami. The pitch is that you shouldn't feel compelled by the government to buy insurance and it may be cheaper outside the marketplaces.
A blueprint for a forthcoming tailgate calls for games such as beer pong and Cornhole, free Taco Bell and beer. Pictures of people signing petitions to opt out would be sent over Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
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