SANTA MONICA, Calif., Aug. 29 (UPI) -- Advocates of a universal healthcare bill in California have turned to a computer-game superhero to get their message across.
A bill being considered in the California Assembly this week would replace the private insurance market with a public insurance program. One group in favor of the bill, the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, has developed a computer game called Nurse Avenger in an attempt to persuade voters to support it.
In the game, a player is awarded points for fighting mobster-styled insurance company and HMO representatives trying to kill a patient in a hospital bed. Special weapons include the waste whacker, salary sucker, voicemail avenger and a purchasing power mega weapon. To unleash a special attack, players click on a "Nurse Avenger" icon when it appears on the screen. If the player defeats all the HMO bosses, he or she "saves" the state $8 billion -- what some have predicted the annual savings to the state of the bill to be.
The goal of the game is to get 20-somethings, who have the highest rate of uninsurance in the state, to take notice of the debate taking place in the legislature, foundation spokesman Jerry Flanagan said.
Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has said he will veto the bill.