The PJ Tatler

At Gay Bar, Condoms More Popular than Obamacare Brochures

As a metaphor for demonstrating the total cluelessness of everyone in the administration from the president on down about the public perception of Obamacare, this story about trying to sell the ACA at a gay bar should serve as a model.



Washington’s new health insurance exchange dispatched a sign-up envoy to one of the city’s gay clubs one recent night to get out the word about Obamacare. It envisioned men mingling on the dance floor, a cocktail in one hand and enrollment information in the other.

But the brochures about DC Health Link, as the exchange is called, weren’t snapped up as quickly as the free condoms provided by a local clinic.

Like other health exchanges and coverage advocacy groups across the country, DC Health Link is reaching out to people wherever they may be, including bars. President Barack Obama even urged bartenders — who may themselves be uninsured — to hold happy hours to talk about health insurance and what it can offer young adults.

(PHOTOS: 25 unforgettable Obamacare quotes)

That strategy has clear challenges, however. In a packed nightclub like Town Danceboutique in Northwest D.C., music smothers conversation, dimmed lights make reading difficult, and health coverage is not what’s on people’s minds.

“They’re looking to let loose. They’re not looking to talk about serious topics,” patron Maven Saleh said as he surveyed the Town crowd on a winter weekend.

Add an appearance by Santa wearing a “Naughty” hat as he posed for pictures on stage, and DC Health Link assister John Esposito had a near-impossible task that night. Positioned behind the stage and bar area, he stood by a small table offering not just information about insurance enrollment but packages of condoms and tubes of lubricant. The latter items were courtesy of the Whitman-Walker Clinic, which also had its HIV testing van parked outside.

“It’s not about drawing a huge drove of people to the system,” explained an upbeat Esposito, who by day is stationed at Whitman-Walker as part of the DC exchange’s ongoing work with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.


Like something out of a Dali painting.

Here you have an image of young men partying and dancing the night away, health insurance as a concern probably ranking right up there with trimming nose hair, and the geniuses at Obamacare central think it’s a great idea to set up shop and try to sell the law.

Stuff like this stinks of desperation. The earnest young man who is just doing his job by being there is not at fault. He’s just following the plan. But the people who sent him need a reality check. Next thing you know, we’ll have booths set up anywhere three people gather for a cup of coffee.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member