The White House is relying on new spokespeople to pitch Obamacare: a dog that can’t jump over a hedge, a panda cub that won’t give up its ball, an Elmo doll flying off a shelf and a cat that jumps so high it knocks out a light.
That’s what visitors can find on the latest website supporting the Affordable Care Act and trying to get people to sign up for insurance coverage.
It’s set up as a “Sweet 16” bracket where visitors can vote for their favorite reason to sign up for insurance — with each reason accompanied by a seemingly random internet gif or meme, including First Lady Michelle Obama dunking a basketball or dancing with late-night host Jimmy Fallon.
University of North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams and University of Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma head a video on the website, imploring viewers to take a quick break from filling out March Madness brackets and sign up for health insurance coverage.
The new website comes a week after Mr. Obama appeared on “Between Two Ferns,” an internet parody of talk shows hosted by comedian Zach Galifianakis. Critics have said the reliance on comedy is unbecoming of the nation’s highest office.
But it shows that the White House is going to great lengths to pitch the ACA to young people, most of whom the president hopes to reach through alternative messaging like humorous online content. The deadline to sign up for the president’s health insurance plan is March 31, and the health care system needs large amounts of healthy young people to help support it and make it self-sustaining.