New Cover Oregon Advertisement Misunderstands Oregon’s Motto

“We fly with our own wings, care about the same things…” go the lyrics of the new Cover Oregon federally funded music video promoting the Affordable Care Act.

In something that’s strangely reminiscent of a chimera between an old Red Bull advertisement and Aliki Farms, Cover Oregon is now touting the line that buying into the massive federal healthcare machine created by the Affordable Care Act is “flying with our own wings.” The song, written by musician Dave Depper, is of course referencing the motto of Oregon, “alis volat propriis,” which means “she flies with her own wings.”

However, this is more like industrial chicken housing than the mirthful scene of tandem flying this video presents. Mainly, because under the Affordable Care Act, if you’re working more than 30 hours a week, your employer is required to pay for your health insurance. That sounds great! But actually, in this bad economy, it’s easier to just cut your hours down to below 30 a week and hire another employee. Trader Joe’s recently decided to stop paying their part-time employees health insurance (something they did of their own accord) because, under the Affordable Care Act, it’s not financially viable anymore. Instead, they’re giving vouchers to help employees purchase their own health insurance.

For some establishments, it’s setbacks like this. For others, they’re simply not hiring unless you have a degree and experience in the field. And this isn’t for specialist positions. This is for entry-level receptionist positions that require 2 years experience doing the job (clearly misunderstanding the term ‘entry level’) and a business degree. When the federal government requires that you offer huge benefits to your employees, businesses can’t afford to take chances on a “risky hire.”

So instead of “flying with your own wings,” you might just be unemployed and living with your parents at 25. “Dreaming all the big dreams” is right, catchy song. You’re thinking long and hard about your dreams when you’re an adult sleeping in your childhood bedroom.

But as far as simple jingles that sell huge, world-changing healthcare acts to the public by swooning them with a sirens song go, this one is pretty great. You’re free to be healthy! So is a cow, but it’s not free to do much else. Your invested money in this program helps pay for everyone else while resigning you to cut hours, cut wages, and potential job loss. While you’re being forced to enter into socialist healthcare and support strangers across the country, you can smile knowing that a music video said it was “flying with our own wings.”

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