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Too Many People Fell for Jimmy Kimmel’s “Trumpcare” Bit

Days ago, Jimmy Kimmel adopted a new tactic on health care in order to get people to sign up during the Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment period: telling them it was actually Trumpcare. You might be inclined to think that no one could be ignorant enough for that to actually work. You would be wrong.

Last night, Kimmel noted some of the praise he’s received for bridging the partisan divide, a.k.a. putting Trump’s name on something President Obama did, in order to ease the minds of Trump supporters who just don’t like that Obama fella. Apparently, he had about as much success as Republicans initially found in labeling the Affordable Care Act “Obamacare” to make people hate it, without question, in the first place. As during the election last year, too many people seem to have no idea what the Affordable Care Act actually is or does, and only that Trump = good and Obama = bad.

When I say “too many” people, I mean any people at all. It’s impossible to say, just from the few examples Kimmel presented, that there was actually a large number of people who were duped, but it’s distressing that anyone who felt strongly enough about the issue to comment could have such a poor grasp of what was going on here. Kimmel’s got plenty of history going out on the street to trick unsuspecting people with little knowledge of a given subject—you’ll always be able to find someone, of any political “side,” who doesn’t know what’s happening—but these comments were unsolicited. As always, though, the best ones were those obliviously insulting the intelligence of people who disagree with their own uninformed views.

But really, as happy as I am to think this approach might work in helping to thwart Trump’s repeated efforts to hurt health insurance enrollment and undermine the ACA—including cutting the ad budget for open enrollment and ending insurer subsidies—it’s disturbing to think of how many people might actually buy into it as legitimate pro-Trump propaganda. It’s telling how few laughs there were from the audience as Kimmel read off the comments and remained fully committed to the bit. Even Kimmel pretending to have bought into the idea that Trump should get credit for being unable to undo the good that Obama did was unsettling to watch, probably because it felt too close to the Trump administration’s actual, unusually shameless propaganda efforts.

(image: screengrab)

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Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.