Remember President Obama’s “interview” on Funny or Die’s “Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis,” the widely covered sketch released last March promoting the Affordable Care Act? It was just one component in the White House’s campaign to enlist celebrity Obamacare endorsers during the first open enrollment period. (A hell of a component, since the video, which included a link to Healthcare.gov at the end, made Funny or Die the biggest driver of referrals to the Affordable Care Act site the morning the video dropped.)
Now, with the second period of open enrollment having kicked off, the White House is once again rallying the troops in an effort to help boost enrollment numbers for the president’s signature achievement.
“This year, we will work with celebrities from across the country that have a diversity of following to amplify open enrollment again to raise awareness, and to make sure consumers know that the plans are affordable,” an Obama administration official said. “Celebrities and athletes plan to film PSAs, create online content, utilize Twitter and Facebook, and participate in days of action…Today is our first Celebrity Day of Action for the 2015 Open Enrollment Period.”
The White House has also worked closely with celebrities on pushes for minimum-wage increase and rape and sexual assault prevention. Just last week, Rihanna dropped by the White House and met with staff to discuss potential involvement with the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative.
Here are some of the celebrity tweets sent on Monday encouraging enrollment (there were also messages from Jared Leto and Kal Penn, the latter of whom served in the White House’s Office of Public Engagement, which handles much of the celebrity outreach):
They’re just tweets, but it’s a very visible part of the administration’s evolved strategy to pitch Obamacare to potential new enrollees. (The administration is, however, keeping expectations for enrollment numbers comparatively modest this time around.)
So should we also expect to see more Funny or Die videos? Another flurry of pro-ACA Instagram posts from Hollywood actors? Another variety show aimed at boosting numbers? The enrollment period ends on February 15, so stay tuned.