OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Obama's star power fades for health law

The Obama administration is short of star power as it begins its last public relations blitz for ObamaCare.

President Obama's celebrity supporters are not in the forefront as they were during the star-studded campaign-style videos that dominated the airwaves in 2008.


Contrary to expectations, the White House's A-list backers have mainly stuck to Twitter to voice support for ObamaCare, while others have engaged in inexpensive online videos, or chosen to promote California's insurance marketplace instead of HealthCare.gov, the notoriously troubled website for the federal exchanges.
Less than a year ago, Oprah Winfrey, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson and Amy Poehler were guests at the White House to discuss a strategy to promote the healthcare law.

Many expected this would lead to an advertising blitz full of famous faces. But, with limited exceptions, stars have largely failed to participate in a substantial ad campaign to promote ObamaCare's new coverage options.

The White House told The Hill on Monday its intention was to enlist celebrities for a landmark social media campaign, and in this sphere at least, celebrities have eagerly shown their support for the law.

People magazine's 2013 Sexiest Man Alive Adam Levine, artists ranging from Lady Gaga and John Legend to Pearl Jam's Mike McCready and dozens of other celebrities have encouraged followers on Twitter and Instagram to #GetCovered or send an #ACAvalentine.

An administration official told The Hill that social media was one of the best ways to reach young people directly, and to expect those efforts to continue. The official noted that tens of thousands of people tweeted using the hash tag “GetCovered” over Valentine’s Day weekend.

Without the overarching celebrity component, White House officials are stepping in to be the face of the enrollment push. Read the full story tonight at The Hill.

SCOTUS: Planned Parenthood applauded the Supreme Court on Monday for declining to review an Arizona law that targeted abortion. The justices said they will not hear an appeal of an overturned state law that would have excluded abortion providers from participating in Arizona’s Medicaid program. The law would have cut off a source of funding in Arizona for Planned Parenthood, which provides preventative healthcare services in addition to abortions.

In 2012, a federal district court in Arizona ruled that a state law violated the federal Medicaid Act, which protects patients’ healthcare decisions. An appeals court in August unanimously agreed with the district court’s ruling. Rebecca Shabad at The Hill reports.

State by State:

Tough road for states seeking Medicaid expansion, at Pew Stateline.

Governors agree there’s no turning back on healthcare law, at The Boston Globe.

Nevada health exchange director resigns, at The Las Vegas Sun.

Texas punishes first clinic and doctor under new abortion law, at The Dallas Morning News.

Reading List:

Examining the legality of changes to the healthcare law, by Tony Pugh.

ObamaCare and my mother’s cancer medicine, by Stephen Blackwood.

Healthcare horror hooey, by Paul Krugman.