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Jul. 07, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

THUMBS UP: THE NFL’s ANSWER TO OBAMACARE

The National Football League is one of the most valuable brands in the United States. So it’s no surprise the White House attempted to engage the NFL in its efforts to promote Obamacare.

State and federal officials are racing to enroll millions of uninsured people through online marketplaces as a part of the current administration’s health care reform, also known as the Affordable Care Act. There have already been stumbles and delays in its implementation, so using celebrities and athletes to endorse and promote it would certainly help sway the 43 percent of uninsured Americans who even now don't know they have to buy health insurance or pay a fine.

After Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters at the beginning of last week the NFL was "enthusiastically engaged" in talks to help promote health insurance, the NFL came back to contradict her. What led to the reversal isn't clear — maybe it was warnings from Republican leaders who wrote several professional sports leagues at about the same time, suggesting they avoid promoting the Affordable Care Act — but stepping aside was a good decision by the NFL.

Three years after its passage, Obamacare is still a political and practical quagmire. It’s not like promoting deodorant or a soft drink. With so many young people particularly not understanding how it works, it requires a lot more than a famous pitchman to explain.

THUMBS UP: HOT DOG MONTH

Hot dogs may not be the most popular eats for some, but they're squarely on the list of American favorites.

Just consider that Yarborough's Homemade Ice Cream sells 800 to 1,000 hot dogs a week. It's likely that other local eating establishments sell their fair share of the tasty delights as well.

Tommy Carter, of Big T's Restaurant, aptly stated, "I thinnk they have a good reputation down here in the South and in Sanford. I think it's nostalgic. It brings back memories of childhood."

Whether from the North, South, East or West, hot dogs have become part of our national heritage —  no matter the preference for the fixins'.