Health reform implementation

Obama asks Hollywood celebrities to help pitch ObamaCare enrollment

President Obama met Monday with celebrities who are interested in helping him promote his signature healthcare law ahead of the Oct. 1 launch of state insurance exchanges.

The president dropped by a White House meeting with singer Jennifer Hudson and actress Amy Poehler, as well as representatives for Oprah Winfrey, Alicia Keys and Bon Jovi, an administration official said.

{mosads}Other attendees included officials from the Grammy Awards and the Funny or Die website, which is a brainchild of actor Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay. Representatives for several other TV shows and entertainment companies also attended.

All of the attendees have “expressed a personal interest in educating young people about the Affordable Care Act,” the White House official said.

Senior adviser Valerie Jarrett led the meeting. Obama “stopped by” the meeting to make a personal appeal, according to the official. 

“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.

The White House is hoping that roughly 7 million people will enroll in private insurance plans sold through the new marketplaces next year, including about 2.7 million young people.

Getting young, healthy people to enroll is critical to the law’s success. If too few young people sign up, premiums could skyrocket for the people who do enroll.

The administration and its allies are enlisting celebrities as part of a massive outreach blitz to help encourage young people to enroll once the new insurance exchanges open on Oct. 1. 

Administration officials previously sought a partnership with the National Football League, which would help them reach a large audience of young men. 

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters last month that she was “very actively and enthusiastically engaged” with the NFL, but the football league has since indicated it is unlikely to help promote the law.

— Published at 7:19 a.m. and last updated at 12:11 p.m.

Tags Kathleen Sebelius

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