President Obama is calling in some favors from the Hollywood elite to help sell Obamacare to America’s youth.
Amy Poehler, Jennifer Hudson and Kal Penn were among the list of celebrities who met with senior administration officials Monday at the White House to discuss ways of getting involved with the effort to spread the word on the benefits of the new health care law. According to the White House, representatives for Oprah Winfrey, Alicia Keys and Bon Jovi were also in attendance, along with Funny or Die’s Mike Farah, YouTube Comedy’s Daniel Kellison, and Royal Pains creator Andrew Lenchewski.
President Obama stopped by the meeting, which was chaired by senior adviser Valarie Jarrett, to highlight the potential impact on uninsured 18-to-35 year olds–the targeted enrollment demo for these new marketplaces.
“The reach of these national stars spreads beyond the beltway to fans of their television shows, movies, and music–and the power of these artists to speak through social media is especially critical,” said a White House official. “The next few months leading up to the opening of these marketplaces are a critical time for youth engagement and outreach efforts.”
The new health insurance marketplaces under the new Affordable Care Act kick into effect on October 1. That gives the administration less than 70 days to make this demographic aware of more health care options than they’ve had in the past.
The meeting seemed to go well, according to a tweet from actor and former Obama staffer Kal Penn.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, approximately 7 million Americans will sign up for the newly offered insurance plans under Obama’s signature health care law. Out of that number, about 2.7 million–or about 40%– will be younger Americans.
Amid backlash from Republicans, Obamacare PR has been a constant struggle for the administration.
The GOP once again pounced on the administration earlier in July following the announcement of an unexpected delay to a key mandate of the law. After listening to complaints from the business community about the new reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act, employers now have until 2015 to comply.