June 27, 2012
Intense debate and opposition to President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) have escalated the growth of Generation Opportunity’s Facebook page, “The Constitution by GO,” to over 1 million young adult fans. Millennials (young adults ages 18-29) have become much more vocal in their opposition to a law they increasingly view as a threat to and a violation of their individual freedom and basic American liberties. Generation Opportunity created the Facebook page, “The Constitution by GO,” over a year ago as an online platform for Millennials to discuss and organize on issues related to the rights of all Americans as outlined in founding documents such as the Declaration of Independence and The Constitution.
Generation Opportunity presently has over 3.4 million fans on its Facebook platforms and works through social media and grassroots strategies to organize and mobilize young adult voters. The organization has a vigorous field operation that has already engaged hundreds of thousands of young Americans directly and has established a sophisticated network of activists across the country.
“The lack of enthusiasm among Millennials for this law is based in part on their growing sense of disillusionment with leaders in Washington and the crass, transparent calculation that young people would trade their basic American rights for a political promise of purportedly free healthcare. Young Americans are savvy and see this as yet another example of the pervasive arrogance coming out of Washington which insists government knows best,” said Paul T. Conway, president of Generation Opportunity and former Chief of Staff for the United States Office of Personnel Management, the agency responsible for managing the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program which covers most of the Executive Branch, as well as Members of Congress and their staffs. Conway also served as Chief of Staff of the United States Department of Labor and previously served as Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Resources for the Commonwealth of Virginia.
“Young Americans know their rights as guaranteed in both the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. They are increasingly vocal and active in their opposition to this law, seeing the unprecedented threat they believe it represents to their basic freedoms and liberties, including religious liberty, fought for by our founders and the generations that followed. They know full well that this health care law would create a precedent for future federal intrusions into their personal lives and the institutions affiliated with their respective religious faiths,” added Conway.
Since the launch of the Facebook page over a year ago, the ACA has been a dominant issue among the young adult fans of “The Constitution by GO.” However, in the past several months, as the United States Supreme Court moved closer to making a ruling on the legislation championed by President Obama as a centerpiece of his domestic policy agenda, the activism of the fans on the page has increased markedly. A recent poll of fans on the page (unscientific) indicated that 91% are opposed to the healthcare law.
In recent weeks the platform has hosted an intense, vigorous debate among members of the key 18-29 demographic over the ACA, with the individual mandate specifically being the subject of frequent discussion among members of the page. The provision requires all Americans to purchase a health insurance policy or face a stiff penalty. Many young Americans view the compulsion as a flagrant assault on personal liberty and are apprehensive about the precedent it establishes; if the government can force its citizens to buy one product or service, it is unlikely to stop with health insurance.
Others have expressed grave concerns over coverage requirements that the Obama administration has demanded of religious institutions, including the provision of health services contrary to the basic principles and teachings of their faith. As an example, Catholic Charities faces a choice between violating their intrinsic principles or providing what the federal government deems the acceptable range of insured health services for their employees. Many young Americans fear that religiously affiliated institutions may be forced to shut down altogether, leaving millions of people without access to care...Generation Opportunity is a non-profit, non-partisan 501 (c)(4) organization that seeks to engage everyone from young adults, to early career professionals, college students, young mothers and fathers, construction workers, current service men and women, veterans, entrepreneurs, and all Americans who find themselves dissatisfied with the status quo and willing to create a better tomorrow.
Generation Opportunity operates on a strategy that combines advanced social media tactics with proven field tactics to reach Americans 18-29. The organization’s social media platforms – “Being American by GO,” “The Constitution by GO,” “Gas Prices Are Too Damn High,” and “Keep Texas Awesome” on Facebook – have amassed a total fan base of more than 3.4 million.