Hollywood Extends Helping Hand to Obamacare
Supporters of the Affordable Care Act have stars in their eyes. On Thursday, “Tell a Friend — Get Covered” will broadcast a six-hour event with “stories, tips, helpful information and other details related to national health care options,” per Variety. The event is being broadcast live on YouTube, accessible through the organization’s website.
Variety reports the event is a collaboration involving Funny or Die, Maker Studios, and YouTube Studios. The organizers said it is a mix of skits and educational features. Celebrities like Jennifer Hudson, Elizabeth Banks, and Olivia Wilde have agreed to participate. To engage a youthful audience, the event plans on using social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
Celebrities first began endorsing the Affordable Care Act through social media, specifically Twitter, in December. Adam Levine was among a group of actors, musicians, and athletes who began using tweeting “#GetCovered” to promote the health care law.
Also in December, Politico reported information about a live event in January. Originally slated for eight hours, Covered California — a state group working with the national campaign — said the event was meant to “leverage the impact of celebrities and pop-culture to raise awareness, educate, and inspire Americans nationally to get covered.”
On Monday, the third Obamacare enrollment report was released by the Department of Health and Human Services. Youth enrollment did experience significant increases in December. Eight times as many young adults — those ages 18 to 34 — signed up for health care using the exchanges in December, but that demographic comprises only 24 percent of total enrollees.
“When they see that Obamacare offers high costs for limited access to doctors — if the enrollment goes through at all — it’s no surprise that young people aren’t rushing to sign up,” Brendan Buck, a spokesman for John Boehner (R-Ohio), said of the enrollment figures in a statement.
Enrollment skews older, the report shows, with 33 percent between the ages of 55 and 64. According to an analysis by Kaiser, young adults will optimally account for approximately 40 percent of enrollees. If they represent 25 percent or fewer, the cost of individual market plans would increase by 2.4 percent.
Larry Levitt, an insurance expert with the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, does not think an older mix of enrollees will “trigger instability in the system.” Levitt told the Associated Press that although premiums would increase if the trend remained, it would not cause a “death spiral,” or the failure of the law. He did concede that the data “underscores a need to heighten outreach efforts to young people.”