Saturday, August 15, 2009

“Highway to Health Care?”

Highway to Health Care

If you want to get annoyed almost daily, get a job and post your email address somewhere on the Internet.

Yes, you’re sure to receive one obnoxious message after another by companies trying to sell you things or convert you over to their point of view. There are times, however, when some of those cheesy messages provide a lot of entertainment. Just yesterday I received an email from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees that is nothing short of a full-blown hoot.

Here are the relevant parts of that email:

‘Highway to Health Care’ – a rock-n-roll themed RV tour bolstering efforts for health care reform – will make a pit stop in Little Rock on August 18 at 10:30 A.M. to provide Arkansans the chance to climb aboard and contact their Members of Congress to demand real health insurance reform now.

Community leaders will host a press conference at The Arkansas State Capital at 10:30 A.M. to talk about the tour and how health care reform will improve the lives of Arkansans.

The Highway to Health Care tour, sponsored by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), features an RV outfitted as a mobile activism center, complete with on-board laptop computers, cell phones and postcards for participants to contact their senators and representatives. The tour includes health care-related posters and literature that pay homage to famous rock musicians and a video that urges local residents to write and call their members of Congress.

Initially, I thought the AFSCME (even the acronym is cumbersome) was against the Obama Administration’s health care reforms. Why else would someone come up with a name for a campaign that is obviously based on AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell?” What's next? "Heal You Like a Hurricane?"

After doing a bit of research, however, the group is obviously in support of those reforms. Odd. Go ahead and read all about their program by clicking here. The AFSCME, by the way, is a union that includes a lot of people working in the health care industry. One can’t help but wonder what the group’s interest is in this – a lot of union dues have obviously been spent on this campaign and you’ve got to believe they’ve got something substantial at stake here.

At any rate, I handle public relations for a living and can’t help but think that a slogan like “Highway to Health Care” is ideal for a group that opposes the Obama plan, but is terrible for one that is in support of it. David Lowery (of Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker fame) once observed that Americans simply don’t have a good handle on the concept of irony. He may be right.

It could be my imagination, but it does seem this health care debate is making people on both sides a little nuts. I’ve seen two doctors in the past couple of days (one for a checkup and one because I’m sick as a dog with a respiratory infection) and I’m kicking myself for not asking them what they think of this whole issue.

Oh well. Here’s a relevant AC/DC video to enjoy:

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