WASHINGTON — Rep. Doug Lamborn wants to know who is funding a contentious ad campaign that features beer-guzzling frat boys and encourages them to save their booze money by signing up for Colorado’s health care exchange to cover their medical bills.
The Colorado Republican says he has instructed his staff to ensure that no taxpayer dollars are helping to pay for the “Brosurance” ad, which he calls “bizarre.”
The three characters, “Rob, Zach & Sam, Bros for Life,” are featured in one ad with “Zach” doing a headstand on a keg as he swills beer.
“Doing keg stands is crazy,” the ad says. “Not having health insurance is crazier. Don’t tap into your beer money to cover those medical bills. We got it covered.”
In another ad featuring the characters, one is swinging a golf club while the other is talking to his mother on a cell phone.
“Yo mom, do I got insurance?” the ad says, “My buddy broke my head.”
Two liberal non-profit groups, ProgressiveNow Colorado Education and the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, created the ads.
ProgressiveNow Colorado says that no taxpayer dollars were used in their campaign.
Meanwhile, Rep. Cory Gardner appeared on CNN to preview the House Commerce Committee hearing Thursday that will examine the botched rollout of the health care law and glitches that plague the national and some state’s computer systems.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will not testify before the full committee until Oct. 30.
Asked whether the committee is searching for a solution or attempting to exert a “pound of flesh,” the Colorado Republican said, “It’s clearly about solving problems.
“The American people are going to be forced into healthcare exchanges that don’t work, it’s not just healthcare.gov. If you look at the Colorado healthcare exchange, it’s not working either. There are some serious glitches with that technology, Gardner said.
“Instead of defending Obamacare at all costs, the solution is to make sure that it doesn’t bare on the American people, because the American people are going to be forced to buy insurance that they may not want through a website that may not work, and the president is saying we are going to go forward with this, and we don’t have the answers,” Gardner said.
“The real glitch is the law itself,” Gardner said.
The House Republican Conference this week released a full ichat exchange between one consumer and a customer service representative from Healthcare.gov, as an example of the system’s failure.
In the discussion, the customer says he cannot click and save to move forward from step seven, and is advised to keep trying, “you have until March 2014 to enroll.”
“I have until Oct 30 to make a decision about coverage for my family. I don’t have until March,” the customer said.
“Imagine you are stuck in this site’s rush hour traffic,” the service representative responds. “You still exist. You just aren’t going anywhere.”
The frustrated customer asks whether the representative is being paid to make jokes, and compares the assistance to that of a fortune cookie.
“I’m flattered,” the representative says.
The chat session progresses for 15 minutes, as the representative offers no help, but suggests the customer call a 1-800 helpline.
“Thank you for contacting Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat. We are here to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” the representative said before disconnecting the chat.