Obamacare in Hollywood: Celebrities Endorse the ACA

Get ready to say “Lights, camera, Obamacare.” The Tell A Friend — Get Covered campaign has enlisted celebrities to endorse and promote the Affordable Care Act. Efforts kicked off on Thursday, featuring tweets from Adam Levine, Fran Drescher, and T.I. using the #GetCovered hashtag.

All of the state-based exchanges are working with Tell A Friend — Get Covered, but Covered California is leading the way, along with Enroll America. In addition to celebrities, the campaign says athletes, social media creators, and musicians will also participate in explaining how to obtain health coverage.

The group has an eight-hour event planned for January 16, which will be streamed live. It plans to “feature a number of celebrities, experts and individuals who can share their personal stories to promote healthy living and lifestyle choices so they can share their stories and encourage others to get covered,” according to a press release.

Tell A Friend — Get Covered will operate through March. Two videos have already been uploaded to the organization’s website, including a rap parody by Alphacat, who does impersonations of President Barack Obama. In the video, “President Obama” does a health care version of “Drop It Like It’s Hot.”

According to Politico, Wilmer Valderrama, of That ’70s Show fame, will be a part of campaign eventsBloomberg adds Kal Penn, who starred in the Harold and Kumar movies, and former WNBA player Lisa Leslie to the lineup.

Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, explained to Bloomberg the purpose of the events: “The idea is a drumbeat of dialogue, a drumbeat of discussion about coverage — not about glitches, not about the politics, not about the pundits.”

The PR push is coming at a later date than the White House expected. On Meet the Press earlier this month, journalist Ezra Klein said that the White House was not expecting technical website issues to be the focus of attention immediately following the launch of HealthCare.gov.

“They believed it would be all about a massive outreach effort that they were going to launch using mayors, using governors, using nonprofit groups, and focusing on sort of the TV shows young people watch on social networks, trying to get the mothers involved, to get folks to sign up by getting trusted validators talking about it,” Kline said.

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