Washington, July 23 — President Barack Obama is turning to Hollywood stars to sell his signature health care laws’ insurance exchanges that open on Oct 1 to younger Americans.
Obama Monday extolled the benefits his health care law, nicknamed Obamacare, offers young people, whose participation in the exchanges is seen as essential for their long-term viability, at a meeting with stars at the White House Monday.
The group included Indian-American actor Kal Penn, known for starring in the popular “Harold and Kumar” film series as well as the hit TV show “House” singer Jennifer Hudson and actor Amy Poehler.
“The President stopped by the meeting to engage artists who expressed an interest in helping to educate the public about the benefits of the health law,” a White House official was cited as saying by CNN.
“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.”
The meeting, which was led by Obama’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, also included representatives for Oprah Winfrey, Alicia Keys, Bon Jovi, YouTube Comedy, Funny or Die and the organizations that put on the annual Grammy and Latin Grammy awards.
“President Obama underscored that the efforts of these artists will be especially helpful since young uninsured Americans (ages 18-35) are key enrollment targets for the new marketplaces,” the official said.
Persuading young Americans to enrol on Obamacare’s exchanges is considered a key challenge for the law’s backers – without enough healthy people enrolled, premium costs for those who do participate will rise.
The White House has said that 2.7 million young and healthy adults must enrol on the exchanges in order for premium costs to remain low for older Americans who take advantage of the new system, according to CNN.