White House courting basketball fans in ObamaCare push

The White House will court basketball fans in a "March Madness"-themed campaign to increase ObamaCare enrollment ahead of a March 31 deadline.

The administration on Monday will release its ”16 Sweetest Reasons to Get Covered” bracket listing the top reasons to get health insurance, according to a White House official. Each day, the bracket will be updated based on votes from online users.

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The official said the effort is part ongoing attempts to “reach young consumers where they are.”

More than 4.2 million people have enrolled in ObamaCare as of March 1, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said last week. The number of 18- to 34-year-olds stands at 25 percent, the department added.

The campaign will include online videos with athletes and coaches and social media blitzes, the official said.

For example, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will be tweeting about the NCAA basketball tournament, especially her home-state Kansas Jayhawks.

A new ad featuring Miami Heat star LeBron James touting the ObamaCare exchanges will also begin airing this week during tournament games.

On Monday, Univision will air an interview with President Obama focused on the importance of healthcare coverage. Administration officials will appear on other sports radio outlets throughout the week.

Obama is expected to release his NCAA bracket on Wednesday. The release of the president’s bracket last year was the most popular blog of 2013 on WhiteHouse.gov, the official said.