By Justin Sink - 02/05/14 06:19 PM EST
Organizing for Action (OFA) is raffling off a trip to meet President Obama at its summit in Washington later this month, telling supporters who pledge to help enroll Americans in ObamaCare they could win the opportunity to meet the president.
"Anyone who says they'll help — in big ways or small — before the March 31st enrollment deadline will be automatically entered for a free trip to Washington, D.C., to meet the president at our National Organizing Summit," OFA Executive Director Jon Carson said in an email to the group's list serve.
But while entrants are asked to say they will "be part of the final push for health care," no actual contribution or pledge is necessary to enter. The group, born from the president's reelection campaign, has come under fire from Republicans and watchdog groups who accuse the organization of selling access to Obama — a charge OFA and the White House dispute.
The contest comes as the White House is ramping up efforts to attract young adults to the healthcare program. Earlier Wednesday, the administration announced a new television ad urging mothers to encourage their children to purchase coverage.
The ad will air through next month on channels like ABC Family, Oxygen and Lifetime.
"Young adults see their moms as a trusted information source, and the purchase of health insurance is important to mothers with adult children and to young adults themselves," Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services spokeswoman Julie Bataille said in a statement.
"This ad is one more way we are working to reach young adults in ways that will motivate them to sign up for new affordable coverage."
Healthcare experts have warned of a so-called "death spiral" if too few young, healthy adults buy into the ObamaCare marketplace to offset the costs of insuring older and sick Americans.
Last month, White House press secretary Jay Carney insisted that, despite the "shaky rollout" of the ObamaCare website, the government was seeing "a significant surge in the percentage of young Americans under 35 enrolling."
"Those numbers are consistent with what we saw in Massachusetts," Carney said. "And if you ask the Republicans in Massachusetts who supported, and in one case signed into law, the health insurance reform, which is the closest thing to a model for the president's Affordable Care Act, they would say that that worked and that there the percentage of young people who enrolled was adequate."
Earlier this month, the Department of Health and Human Services said that 30 percent of ObamaCare enrollees were aged 34 and under, and announced last week that 3 million individuals had purchased coverage. The administration originally projected that 7 million consumers would enroll in the first year, with 39 percent aged 18-34.