Taking requests from the Obama administration, celebrities stepped into the spotlight to give some love to the Affordable Care Act.
Stars showed their support for President Obama’s landmark health care law by using the hashtag #GetCovered and #KnowYourOptions on social media Tuesday to create buzz around the rollout of Obamacare.
Despite the Republicans tireless efforts, at midnight on Tuesday--just as the federal government entered shutdown mode--the new Obamacare website opened for business. Americans are now able to visit Healthcare.gov to compare prices of various plans and enroll.
Right before the website launched, the no-longer boy bandN'SYNC encouraged fans to learn more about the health care law and included a link.
Love, hate, or just confused by it -learn all you can about the Affordable Care Act which starts enrolling tomorrow! http://t.co/yJk1kjpm2J — *NSYNC (@NSYNC) September 30, 2013
That tweets seemed to cost them a few conservative followers. But most of the celebrities got warm receptions online. Pearl Jam, Jason Mraz, John Legend were among the prominent artists that tweeted about health care to its millions of loyal fans.
If you want to make sense of the whole healthcare thing, or just want to #GetCovered, check out http://t.co/r3b3v3obly. #KnowYourOptions — Pearl Jam (@PearlJam) October 1, 2013
Loved the POTUS ripping congress a new a-hole on NPR. While some feud over the healthcare law #KnowYourOptions at http://t.co/qmQCq60ubD. — Jason Mraz (@jason_mraz) October 1, 2013
F the shutdown. The Health Insurance Marketplace is now open in every state. Don’t wait another day to #GetCovered! http://t.co/LTfvyg1FIR — John Legend (@johnlegend) October 1, 2013
Comedian John Hodgman explained to his Twitters followers why they should sign up for insurance if they don’t already have it.
Young people: sign up for healthcare. Take it from me--YOU ARE NOT IMMORTAL — hodgman (@hodgman) October 1, 2013
In a later blog post, titled "The Ultimate (Frisbee) Argument for Visiting Healthcare.gov," Hodgman said hearing from other users about their personal run-ins with the old health care system “overwhelmed in every sense of the word."
“I didn’t intend to retweet a whole mess of sob stories this morning from young people who thought they were healthy until they got hit by an SUV/bad appendix/thyroid cancer/infection/baby. What a bunch of whiners, right?" He continued, "All I meant to do was encourage healthy young people and the other people in the world who think they are immortal, who think that health insurance is a luxury that isn’t worth affording, to give that assumption some critical thought, and take advantage of the exchanges to see what their options are."
The comedy writers at Funny Or Die teamed up with singer/actress Jennifer Hudson, who impersonated the Washington D.C. Fixer “Olivia Pope" from the hit show Scandal. In the spoof video, Hudson meets up with clients in secret spots and dark alleys and instead of figuring out real scandals, she helps her clients solve questions about the Affordable Care Act.
.@FunnyOrDie you were supposed to find me a real Scandal! http://t.co/GWF2BrosQF #Obamacare #GetCovered — Jennifer Hudson (@IAMJHUD) September 30, 2013
Both Hudson and Funny or Die’s Mike Farah were on the list of Hollywood elites briefed at the White House by officials in July on ways to spread the word about benefits from the new law.
According to the White House, Amy Poehler and Kal Penn attended the meeting, which was chaired by senior adviser Valarie Jarrett, as well as representatives for Oprah Winfrey, Alicia Keys and Bon Jovi. President Obama made a cameo, too.
“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,” a White House official said. “The next few months leading up to the opening of these marketplaces are a critical time for youth engagement and outreach efforts.”