Celebrities Resume Campaign to Promote Obamacare to Young

Now that some of the problems with the Obamacare website have been fixed, the administration is resuming prior efforts to recruit younger, healthier Americans to purchase insurance in the federal and state exchanges. This is a critical part to the president's health insurance law because based on the few statistics that have been provided, the majority of the people who have successfully selected (but not necessarily purchased) a health insurance plan appear to be elderly and therefore less healthy. The trouble for this strategy is that younger Americans are not signing up for Obamacare to the degree that the president and his allies had hoped. And with good reason: the people most negatively impacted by the new healthcare law are the young since they will be forced to pay higher premiums to subsidize additional services to the elderly.

To combat this, Obamacare supporters have resumed a prior strategy to enlist left-leaning celebrities to encourage their fans to sign up for insurance. As Bloomberg reports, a number of entertainers have enlisted (who knows if they've been paid) to help brainwash gullible fans to act against their own interests:

Pop singer Adam Levine, who won the designation from People magazine last month, is among the celebrities who’ll be promoting enrollment in online health insurance exchanges as part of a social media campaign kicking off tomorrow.

With enrollment totals behind administration projections after the botched start-up of the federal exchange, 17 state exchanges joined by an advocacy group are drawing on Obama administration allies in entertainment and sports to promote sign-ups, using social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

Reprising a tactic President Barack Obama successfully employed in his 2012 re-election, organizers plan to use celebrity promotions and professionally produced videos aimed at inspiring Americans to encourage friends to enroll. The goal is generating 100 million Internet contacts before open enrollment closes March 31.

“The idea is a drumbeat of dialogue, a drumbeat of discussion about coverage -- not about glitches, not about the politics, not about the pundits,” said Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, the state’s insurance exchange, which led organization of the campaign.

The roster includes television star Fran Drescher of “The Nanny,” actor Kal Penn of the “Harold and Kumar” movie series and former Women’s National Basketball Association most valuable player Lisa Leslie, according to the campaign’s organizers, who declined to provide a full list before it gets underway.

Somehow this doesn't seem like it is going to work as it does nothing to address the very real concern that many young adults had even before Obamacare: Why should they pay for a service they are unlikely to use?

The White House appears to have anticipated the likelihood of younger people opting out which is why there is provision in the law which requires the federal government to literally give money to health insurance companies in the event they cannot get enough young people to sign up. One wonders what the public will think of this once it becomes more widely known. In an initial survey conducted by Investor's Business Daily, there seems to be a clear majority who would oppose the practice, even among Democrats.

Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013