President Obama wants young bartenders to give their customers a tip — sign up for health insurance under Obamacare.
Speaking at a White House Youth Summit on Wednesday, the president continued to enlist Americans from all walks to life to join in the effort to sell health care reform.
“No matter how much I care, the truth is, for your friends and your family, the most important source of information is not going to be me. It’s going to be you,” the president said. “If you’re a student body president, set up a conference on campus. If you work at a nonprofit, open your doors and use your email list to help people learn the facts. If you’ve got a radio show, spread the word on air. If you’re a bartender, have a happy hour — and also probably get health insurance because a lot of bartenders don’t have it.”
Wednesday’s event, specifically designed to get young people to assist the administration in promoting Obamacare, is the latest example of the intense public-relations push the White House has undertaken. That effort is designed to push back against a growing chorus of critics who have blasted the Affordable Care Act for its multiple shortcomings, including the faulty website HealthCare.Gov, the fact that many Americans received notices stating their insurance policies were being canceled, and other examples.
The White House is mounting its push at a critical time in the law’s implementation. The number of uninsured Americans seeking coverage is expected to rise dramatically over the next several weeks, since one must apply by Dec. 23 in order to be covered on Jan. 1.
That rush will be a true test of whether the administration has fixed its troubled website and whether the system as a whole will work as intended.