News

Celebrities urge Americans to #getcovered

Celebrities urge Americans to #getcovered

OBAMACARE: Associates at Community Health Center wear buttons reading "Get Obamacare" during a session to enroll people in the nation’s new health insurance system at the Community Health Center, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, in New Britain, Conn. Photo: Associated Press/AP Photo/Jessica Hill

By Lewis Krauskopf

NEW YORK (Reuters) – While technical problems slowed the launch of new “Obamacare” websites to sell health insurance on Tuesday, the law’s supporters on Twitter had an easier time welcoming the “Affordable Care Cat.”

Celebrities and community groups took to social media to promote President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, the 2010 law popularly known as Obamacare, that aims to provide health coverage to millions of uninsured Americans beginning next year.

Planned Parenthood Teens, part of the network of women’s health clinics in southern New England, used Twitter and Tumblr to tell young adults, “The Affordable Care Cat wants you to … Enroll Meow”.

Singer John Legend and actresses Alyssa Milano and Kerry Washington were among entertainers reaching out to young adults to spark their interest in the new subsidized health plans. The administration aims to sign up at least 2.7 million young, healthy Americans in Obamacare’s insurance plans in their first year to offset the costs of sicker beneficiaries.

“If you want to make sense of the whole healthcare thing, or just want to #GetCovered, check out http://www.healthcare.gov #KnowYourOptions,” the rock band Pearl Jam tweeted to its more than 2 million followers on Tuesday.

Heavy web traffic and technical glitches stalled many of the new insurance exchange sites at their launch on Tuesday, suggesting a slow start to the six-month enrollment period., The administration went ahead with the launch despite a federal government shutdown precipitated by Republican efforts to delay the healthcare law’s implementation.

“F the shutdown. The Health Insurance Marketplace is now open in every state. Don’t wait another day to #GetCovered!” singer Legend tweeted Tuesday morning to his 4.8 million followers.

Obamacare opponents, led by Republican lawmakers, sent messages about the #trainwreck of a law they say was not ready to take effect.

Along with the #GetCovered hashtag, the shutdown was also a popular Twitter topic on Tuesday, with the phrases #governmentshutdown and #DearCongress trending on the micro-blogging site.

Comedy website Funny or Die also released a video of bicycle crashes and other mishaps to its nearly 7 million followers, with the message that everybody gets hurt sometimes, so get coverage. The Funny or Die production president, Mike Farah, had joined a White House meeting in July to discuss how to use pop culture to persuade young Americans to sign up.

Comedian John Hodgman and actress Martha Plimpton converted their Twitter streams into Obamacare forums on Tuesday. Plimpton retweeted messages from her followers saying what they like about the law, while Hodgman’s stream included young adults tweeting about health problems they had encountered.

“Young people: sign up for healthcare. Take it from me–YOU ARE NOT IMMORTAL,” Hodgman tweeted to his more than 900,000 followers.

Some detractors of the law also adopted the #GetCovered hashtag to criticize Obamacare.

“Because of #ACA, my private plan is ending 12/01/2014. Bronze plan is DOUBLE the premium. That’s Affordable? Thanks. #GetCovered,” a user with the handle @EricMerlau tweeted on Tuesday.

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

This weekend’s celebrity birthdays

bisset

See who will be blowing out the candles on birthday cake this weekend.

in Music

CHART TOPPERS: This week’s top country tracks

ladyantebellum

LISTEN: This week's top country songs, according to the latest Billboard chart.

in Music

Lynn Anderson arrested for DUI

lynnanderson

The Grammy-winning country star was arrested after being involved in a car wreck.

in Entertainment

COUNTDOWN: Fall movie preview

This image released by 20th Century Fox shows Ben Affleck in a scene from "Gone Girl." The film will make its world premiere as the opening night film at the 52nd New York Film Festival. The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced Thursday, July 17, 2014, that the highly anticipated adaption of Gillian Flynn’s best-selling novel will kick off the festival on September 26. The 20th Century Fox thriller, which stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, will premiere in theaters shortly after on October 3.

Here are the 10 movies we are most excited to spend time with between now and the holidays.

in Viral Videos

‘Unqualified advice’ with ‘Parks & Rec’ star Nick Offerman

15-overlay1

The actor gives everyday people advice on their most-pressing problems.