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Illinois using the Onion to reach young uninsured

The Onion Newspaper Ceases Publication In Major California Markets

CHICAGO (AP) - Trying to sell young adults on the idea of health insurance before an upcoming deadline, Illinois officials announced Monday they are launching an ad campaign with the satirical online newspaper The Onion.

Banner ads on The Onion website will depict a toy action figure with the words: "Man without health insurance is forced to sell action figures to pay medical bills." The ads say: "Get Covered. Don't sell your action figures."

The Onion has run humorous news articles about President Barack Obama's health law in the past. One headline read: "Nation recalls simpler time when health care system was broken beyond repair."

Ad campaigns in other states have wooed young adults with humor. A nonprofit group in Colorado's "Brosurance" ads featured young men with red plastic cups and a beer keg.

But no other state government has promoted coverage through The Onion, said Onion CEO Steve Hannah. The ads will be targeted to website visitors who are Illinois residents, he said.

Jennifer Koehler, a state employee who is executive director of Get Covered Illinois, said nontraditional sources of news and entertainment are a strategic way to reach young, uninsured adults.

Healthy adults ages 26 to 34 are a crucial demographic to the health law's success. Insurers need their participation to offset the costs of covering older, sicker Americans. But so far only 15 percent of the people who've enrolled in the new marketplace plans are in that target age group. The percentage is similar in Illinois, where a planned $33 million marketing campaign has included mostly traditional TV, radio and print advertising.

The Onion ads, which cost $150,000, are produced with Onion Labs, the creative services division of the satirical website. The Onion also will create a video, an editorial and a custom "news" section as the March 31 enrollment deadline nears.

"Get Covered Illinois understands their target demographic and is taking a creative approach to tailor a message to that audience that goes beyond traditional marketing," said Mike McAvoy, president of Onion Inc., in a press release announcing the campaign.

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steblawar February 11 2014 at 12:19 AM

Ironically, the health care law itself would have been something the Onion might have come up with -- if the democrats hadn't beaten them to it. :-)
Sad thing is, it isn't a satirical item, but law ... well, except for the employer mandate stuff the President has decided not to enforce for the next year or two.

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SPQR February 10 2014 at 11:14 PM

They need Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton to do adds for healthcare...woops I gorgot Justin Beaver and Mily Citrus

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T. Vance February 10 2014 at 9:41 PM

This seems appropriate, Obamacare is a JOKE and the paper wants to be funny!

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1 reply
APerfectGentlman T. Vance February 10 2014 at 10:43 PM

Yeah, it really sucks that human beings have access to healthcare.

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1 reply
Pazta B APerfectGentlman February 10 2014 at 11:19 PM

What suck is that they DON'T have access to healthcare! Ocare took a bad problem and made it worse. I agree the heath care system needed fixed. I disagree that Ocare is the fix.

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ronstriathlon February 10 2014 at 10:30 PM

Fun to read the whiny right wing responses. They are sad and pathetic in sad puppy faced sort of way.

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2 replies
Pazta B ronstriathlon February 10 2014 at 11:17 PM

So..... let's throw logic out the window, calling it sad and pathetic to make ourselves feel better!

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approcks1 ronstriathlon February 10 2014 at 11:40 PM

Are you on welfare ?

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smfstiffy February 11 2014 at 12:18 AM

Lets see 639 .000,000 to build just the website.
Divide by 300,000,000 population in the US
Obamanation spent 2 mill on each one of us .
Or more correctly hung a 2 million dollar chain around your neck.
Oh and yes that was just to roll out the website that didnt work.
Still think that the joke is playing out well.
I did notice that his excellancy doesnt refer to "IT" as obamacare anymore

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2 replies
Martha smfstiffy February 11 2014 at 12:53 AM

yes! It is being deliberately distanced and being called exclusivley the ACA
One of two reasons? To distance the act from Obama, or 2 . to distance the Obama name from the act just in case Michelle has political aspirations after all this free publicity and media adulation.

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drewpoor smfstiffy February 11 2014 at 1:16 AM

you should go back to elementary school....639,000,000 divided by 300,000,000 is $2.13 per American...but you are a PERFECT example of IGNORANT closed minded propaganda...maybe Fox news would hire you. Inform and educate yourself or SHUT THE FRUK UP

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approcks1 February 11 2014 at 12:09 AM

is stuipid care the best answwer?

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approcks1 February 11 2014 at 12:08 AM

any one out there ?

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smfstiffy February 11 2014 at 12:07 AM

The real law is funnier (if you are a sick-o) reference to pages 58 & 59

** Page 50/section 152: The bill will provide insurance to all non-U.S. residents, even if they are here illegally.

** Page 58 and 59: The government will have real-time access to an individual's bank account and will have the authority to make electronic fund transfers from those accounts.
** Page 425, line 4-12: The government mandates advance-care planning consultations. Those on Social Security will be required to attend an "end-of-life planning" seminar every five years. (Death counseling..)

** Page 429, line 13-25: The government will specify which doctors can write an end-of-life order.** Page 272. section 1145: Cancer hospital will ration care according to the patient's age.

It is full of these jewls of humor!

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1 reply
JUST MOOSE smfstiffy February 11 2014 at 5:13 AM

The ACA does not have numerical sections they are alphabetical.
I am looking at it no. Anyone may download it a read it.
The page numbers this guy listed do not contain anything like he is saying.
I doubt whether he has read any of the law.
People should stop spreading lies, and should get off of their lazy asses and read the law!

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bgeditor11 February 11 2014 at 12:04 AM

Not even the wonderful Onion can save Obamacare, no matter how you slice it.

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Larry February 10 2014 at 11:33 PM

Hey, youngsters - come buy the overpriced product you don't believe you need to help out our pop culture prez.
Howz that?
Should work for the Obama voters!

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