With only a week left in open enrollment, comedy website Funny or Die is ramping up its campaign to encourage Americans to sign up for health insurance with a new video selling the Affordable Care Act – this time with a little reverse psychology.
The latest video features comedian Adam Scott, the “Parks and Recreation” star, reprising his role as Derek Huff, the tough-guy baby brother to Will Ferrell’s Brennan Huff from the movie “Step Brothers.” Joined by Mark Cuban, Jeff Probst and Chris Daughtry to “discuss the important issues of the day,” Huff interupts the “cool squad” to explain why health insurance “sucks.”
“Health insurance equals fear, and I’m not afraid of anything, bro,” Huff says in the fake PSA-style video.
After rattling off a dozen or so examples of his fearless attitude – including drinking anti-freeze, refusing to vaccinate his children, and making his own botox – Huff trips, falls, and begins whining about how much it will cost to be taken to the hospital.
“If you had health insurance this would be so straightforward,” a crew member on set quips.
“Don’t even say the word health insurance right now. I’m hurt,” Huff cries in response.
“That’s the best time to say health insurance,” he replies.
The skit plays on a popular theme the president and first lady have emphasized while pitching the law to younger Americans – that despite feeling “invincible,” even young people face unexpected health issues that can be costly for those who don’t have insurance.
The last Funny or Die video to promote the ACA, Obama’s “Between Two Ferns” interview with Zach Galifianakis, has been viewed more than 20 million times since it went live two weeks ago. The healthcare.gov website saw a 40% increase in traffic the day after the video aired, according to a White House official.
Some conservatives criticized the president for shooting the comedic interview, arguing the behavior was beneath the office of the president. When asked about that criticism, including the assertion that past presidents like Lincoln would never have participated in comedic campaigning, Obama insisted otherwise.
“First of all, if you read back on Lincoln, he loved telling the occasional bawdy joke, and being out among regular folks,” Obama said on ESPN Radio last Thursday. “One of the hardest things about being president is being in this bubble that is artificial and unless you make a conscious effort you start sounding like some Washington stiff so you got to consciously try to get out of that if you want to remind yourself of the wonderful people that you’re supposed to be serving who have a sense of humor and aren’t thinking every day about position papers.”
Officials behind the site said Monday that healthcare.gov saw more than a million visitors over the weekend, and tweeted this morning that another million people visited the site on Monday.