Obamacare’s Latest Weapon: Celebrity Moms?

The Obama administration wants young people to sign up for health care coverage.

Earlier in the week,  President Obama did a web video on Funny or Die’s Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis. As part of the interview, Obama stressed the need for young people to sign up for coverage before the March 31st deadline. To date, the video has gotten 15 million hits, and traffic to the Obamacare sign up website, healthcare.gov rose 40% on the day after it first aired.

And now, with that deadline about 2 weeks away, they are pulling out the “big guns”.

A new campaign, entitled #YourMomCares, has put out a video, using celebrity mothers to encourage young adults to sign up for healthcare coverage. Sharon Feldstein (Jonah Hill’s mom), Patsy Noah (Adam Levine‘s mom), Terria Joseph (Alicia Keys‘ mom) and Guadalupe Rodriguez (Jennifer Lopez‘s mom) share stories about their “kids” and make an impassioned plea to viewers to sign up for healthcare:

“Us moms put up with a lot, but one thing we should never have to put up with is our kid not having healthcare.” : Sharon Feldstein

“You people feel invincible and, until something actually happens, they will continue to feel invincible. Unfortunately, things do happen.”: Patsy Noah

Even First Lady Michelle Obama gets into the act saying: “We nag you because we love you.”

The Affordable Care Act allows young adults to stay on their parents’ health care plan until age 26. Before the President signed this landmark Act into law, many health plans and issuers could and did in fact remove young adults from their parents’ policies because of their age, leaving many college graduates and others with no insurance.   This helps to explain problems like:

  • Young adults have the highest rate of uninsured of any age group. About 30% of young adults are uninsured, representing more than one in five of the uninsured. This rate is higher than any other age group, and is three times higher than the uninsured rate among children.
  • Young adults have the lowest rate of access to employer-based insurance. As young adults transition into the job market, they often have entry-level jobs, part-time jobs, or jobs in small businesses, and other employment that typically comes without employer-sponsored health insurance. The uninsured rate among employed young adults is one-third higher than older employed adults.
  • Young adults’ health and finances are at risk. Contrary to the myth that young people don’t need health insurance, one in six young adults has a chronic illness like cancer, diabetes or asthma. Nearly half of uninsured young adults report problems paying medical bills.

Source: CMS.gov ( Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)

What do you think of this campaign? Do you think the moms will help get young people (and others) to sign up?

To sign up  for healthcare coverage, go to healthcare.gov

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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