By Justin Sink - 03/11/14 08:17 AM EDT
President Obama faced off with Zach Galifianakis in the latest episode of the comedian’s awkward, antagonistic Web talk show “Between Two Ferns” on Tuesday in the latest bid to promote ObamaCare enrollment for young Americans.
The “Hangover” star asked Obama whether his presidential library would be located in Kenya. He also asked why the president, who recently told The New Yorker he wouldn’t let his hypothetical son play football, why he assumed his son wouldn’t be a nerd like him.
“Do you think a woman like Michelle would marry a nerd?” Obama, feigning anger, responded. “Why don’t you ask her where she thinks I’m a nerd.”
“Can I?” Galifianakis responded.
“No,” Obama said. “I’m not going to let her near you.”
Asked by the comedian if he desired a third term, Obama swiped back again.
“If I ran a third time it would be sort of like doing a third 'Hangover' movie - didn’t really work out very well, did it?” the president asked.
But the conversation soon turned to enrolling in the Affordable Care Act. Administration officials are blitzing the airwaves ahead of the March 31 enrollment deadline, when individuals must purchase plans on the ObamaCare exchanges.
“Why would you get the guy who created the Zune to make your website?” Galifianakis asked.
“HealthCare.gov works great now, and millions of Americans have already gotten health insurance plans and what we want is people to know you can get affordable healthcare,” Obama responded. “And most Americans, right now, they’re not covered, and the truth is they can get coverage all for what it costs you to pay your cellphone bill.”
“Is this what they mean by drones?” the comedian struck back.
Later, Galifianakis rolled up his shirt sleeve to reveal the results of a spider bite attack.
“That’s one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever seen,” Obama said.
The series has been viewed online more than 30 million times, and White House officials believe it will help them connect with the young, healthy potential consumers ObamaCare needs to succeed.
“We have to find ways to break through,” Dan Pfeiffer, the president’s senior adviser, told the New York Times. “This is essentially an extension of the code we have been trying to crack for seven years now.”
The most recent data released by the government found that 25 percent of enrollees in the ObamaCare exchanges were ages 18-34, lagging behind initial projections. While 4 million Americans have enrolled in the exchanges, initial estimates by the Congressional Budget Office projected that 7 million Americans would sign up.
Later Tuesday, first lady Michelle Obama plans to join a call to thank volunteers and canvassers for their work on behalf of the law. The White House is also launching a social media hashtag - #GeeksGetCovered — to encourage researchers and graduate and postdoctoral students to sign up.
“These folks may be poised to launch America’s next great company, develop a life-saving drug treatment, or uncover a game changing scientific breakthrough, and they benefit from enrollment in quality, affordable healthcare,” a White House official said.