The healthcare battle is intensifying.
The House of Representatives recently placed a provision in a spending bill, which would defund the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. The Senate, too, has jumped into the fray, and a government shutdown looms large.
Interestingly, another mêlée is brewing, one that holds the promise of being just as hard fought and equally riveting.
The White House has turned to Hollywood in an effort to deal with the increasing unpopularity of the healthcare legislation. What started out as a celebrity conference involving the president and a number Hollywood luminaries quickly transformed into an ambitious plan to convince younger citizens to join the less than appealing Obamacare health insurance exchanges.
Skilled writers and an ace production team have been enlisted to craft some expertly designed propaganda and deliver it to the public via an extremely well-visited video website.
In July 2013 a group of Hollywood stars arrived at the White House for a meeting that involved the selling of Obamacare. Celebrities in attendance included Amy Poehler, Jennifer Hudson, Michael Cera, and Kal Penn.
Senior White House Adviser Valerie Jarrett gave a presentation on the healthcare law. Arriving somewhat later, the president went about working the room and garnering ideas to help salvage his sinking healthcare ship.
Mike Farah, president of production at Will Ferrell and Adam McKay's Funny or Die video website, attended the meeting.
“It was awesome,” Farah told Mother Jones magazine. “I was honored to be there and to hear from Obama directly.”
“If we can help make [signing up for Obamacare] a normal thing, something that isn't politicized, something that comes second nature to younger people (like putting your seatbelt on), that is something we’d want to do,” Farah said.
Following the meeting, Farah tasked his workforce to develop as many as 20 video projects, which are designed to push the otherwise unpopular Affordable Care Act.
The first Funny or Die video is scheduled to be posted Sept. 30, 2013, one day prior to the date that the new health insurance exchanges are slated to open for enrollment.
With 19 million unique users and more than 60 million video views per month, Funny or Die is instrumental to the Obama administration’s marketing mission, particularly when the draw to the site of predominantly young people is taken into consideration.
A sizable involvement of younger folks is critical to the success of Obamacare. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that young people will make up 40 percent of the 7 million who are expected to sign up for the government-run health insurance programs.
The new healthcare law coerces most Americans to purchase health insurance while it simultaneously puts price controls into effect. Under Obamacare, insurance companies will not be able to price insurance policies based on risk. The result of the implementation will be that younger enrollees will end up bearing a greater financial burden since the law’s mechanism will lower premiums for baby boomers while raising them for younger adults.
Basically, Hollywood talent has been tapped for the purpose of prodding the indispensable 18-to-35-year-olds into participating in the new government-controlled healthcare system, even if it costs them dearly in the long run.
Conservative groups understand that the fight to persuade must be waged on the same battlefield along with an equivalent degree of innovation and effectiveness.
Generation Opportunity, one of the conservative groups that opposes Obamacare, looks to have one-upped Hollywood in the first media round. The group recently released an Internet video, which went viral, with more than 1.7 million views and still climbing.
In the video footage, a young female Obamacare enrollee, who awaits a gynecology exam, is unexpectedly greeted by a weird looking character in an Uncle Sam mask, which the group refers to as “Creepy Uncle Sam.”
As the young woman lets loose with a high-pitched scream, the words “Don't let government play doctor” appear on the screen.
In another of the group’s videos, a young man is shown on a hospital bed in an examination room. As in the previously described video, the same strange-looking Uncle Sam character appears wearing latex gloves.
Generation Opportunity plans to conduct a college bus tour this fall, which will bring its Hollywood counterpunch to 20 campuses across the country.
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A., in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. Visit Newsmax.TV Hollywood. Read more reports from James Hirsen — Click Here Now.
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