- The Washington Times - Friday, October 11, 2013

A California foundation has given an entertainment group that in part helps television writers craft their scripts a $500,000 grant to sneak in pro-Obamacare messages in upcoming shows.

The California Endowment granted the money to the Hollywood Health & Society, Breitbart reported. The Hollywood Health & Society is tied with the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center, which will take the money and “help TV writers tell better stories about the new health insurance law,” said one official familiar with the grant.

Part of the California Endowment mission is to get low-income earners and immigrants health plan coverage. The organization Marketplace reported that Marty Kaplan, director at Norman Lear Center, said that television is the ideal platform to expand Obamacare’s public relations — and that the grant will do wonders toward achieving that goal.

“People learn from TV,” he said. “Even if they know it is fiction, even if they know if writers can make stuff up, especially in the realm of medicine and public health, if a doctor says something to a patient, people tend to think that someone has checked that — that it’s true.”

The Norman Lear Center does fact check — to a certain extent. The group’s worked on the likes of “Mad Men,” “Dr. Vegas,” and Desperate Housewives,” Breitbart reported.

That’s part of the reason The California Endowment selected the center for the grant — because it brings a reputable background. The center’s Hollywood Health & Society staff will be able to do a remarkable job of uniting fact with fiction, when weaving in Obamacare messages to the newest television scripts, said Daniel Zingale, senior vice president of Healthy California at The California Endowment.

“[Hollywood Health & Society employees will] be giving them content, storylines, information, so that people watching those programs will learn about Obamacare and useful information about how to get enrolled,” Mr. Zingale said, in Marketplace.

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