Pitbull, Fran Drescher Among Stars Enlisted to Promote Obamacare

Pitbull, Fran Drescher Among Stars Enlisted to Promote Obamacare

All celebrity-driven social media efforts will use the hashtag #GetCovered

Enroll America and Covered California said Thursday it is enlisting celebrities such as Pitbull and Fran Drescher as part of an array of web videos and events that will cap off with an eight-hour live streamed internet affair Jan. 16 to bolster young people's enrollment in Obamacare.

Both groups said that the star-powered events are part of a major effort dubbed the “Tell a Friend, Get Covered” initiative. The program will launch immediately with household-name driven tweets and other social-media campaigns aimed at encouraging signups for health coverage using the hashtag #GetCovered.

“Through the ‘Tell a Friend, Get Covered' campaign, we are using entertainment as a way to break the ice on what is often considered a challenging and sensitive issue,” Peter V. Lee, executive director of Covered California, told TheWrap. ”From musical performances, comedy routines, to ‘slice of life’ videos – we want to get people to react and more importantly, take action.”

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In a separate statement, Lee said the hope was to tap into California’s “richest national resources—the creative entertainment sector and social media — to support health care coverage.” He said his and groups from other states are turning to celebrities to get friends to educate friends about the availability of new health coverage choices. The groups would like to reach 100 million contacts.

In addition to Pitbull and Drescher, other celebrity participants include Tatyana Ali and Iman “AlphaCat” Crosson, but organizers said more could join in. Videos and the January event connected to the effort are being produced by Maker Studios.

Videos will appear both on YouTube and the campaign site www.tellafriendgetcovered.com weekly.

January's live stream will include comedic and educational segments. While some will be about healthy eating and the financial risks of being uninsured, others will be entertainment oriented. The entertainment segments are still being planned, a spokesman said.

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The White House has been pushing hard to get healthier youth to sign up for Obamacare to balance out the number of older adults with preexisting health conditions that are expected to sign up. At a meeting earlier this year, the White House urged celebrities to participate in its efforts.

Anne Filipic, president of Enroll America, said she was hopeful the campaign would help kick start conversations that eventually lead to enrollment. The groups included a comment from Drescher in announcing the campaign.

“Like we say at Cancer Schmancer, ‘Take control of your body.’ That's why I support Obamacare,” Drescher said. “Sign up and tell all your friends to sign up, too.”