President Barack Obama has a new strategy to sell the unpopular health care law: Celebrities.
A slew of actors, musicians, writers and producers met with senior officials at the White House Monday to plot out ways to educate young people about the benefits of the health care law, according to a White House official. Obama stopped by the meeting.
Jennifer Hudson, Kal Penn and Amy Poehler attended as did content creators like Funny or Die's Mike Farah and YouTube Comedy's Daniel Kellison, Royal Pains Creator Andrew Lenchewski, morning television veteran producer and Artist Manager, Eric Ortner, Songwriter & Warner Music Group's Bruce Roberts and Atom Factory founder, Troy Carter.
Also there: producers, managers and representatives for Oprah Winfrey, Alicia Keys, Bon Jovi, NARAS (The Grammys), and The Latin Recording Academy (The Latin Grammys).
"The reach of these national stars spreads beyond the beltway to fans of their television shows, movies, and music – and the power of these artists to speak through social media is especially critical," the White House official said.
The Democratic-controlled Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act without Republican support in 2010. The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the law.
But it remains unpopular just as enrollment begins Oct. 1. Fifty-two percent of Americans disapprove of the health care law, according to a Gallup poll this month, up from 45 percent last November.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that in 2014 about seven million new enrollees will sign up for the marketplaces – and about 2.7 million – or close to 40 percent -- will be young Americans.
"These artists join a larger effort that includes other organizations and stakeholders from librarians, to pharmacies to women's magazines who have expressed an interest in educating Americans about all the ways the health care law will help them get better value for the dollars they already pay toward their health care premiums, or more affordable, better quality health insurance choices for their families," the official said.
Several artists already have public education efforts underway to help reach out to young Americans.
Funny or Die is currently in production on several web videos featuring well-known comedic celebrities and actors. YouTube is also working on web videos for its recently-launched comedy channels, JASH and Video Podcast Network.
Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett hosted the meeting which included administration officials Paulette Aniskoff, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Public Engagement; David Simas, Assistant to President & Deputy Senior Advisor for Communications & Strategy; and Tara McGuinness, Senior Communications Advisor.