In the most recent P.R. push to remind people of the March 31 deadline to enroll in the Obamacare exchanges, the White House has borrowed a little bit of celebrity to get the message out to would-be enrollees -- especially those "young-and-healthies" who are critical to organizing the pool of beneficiaries in a balanced way. Earlier this week, President Barack Obama took his pitch to comedy website Funny Or Die, appearing on Zach Galifianikis' "Between Two Ferns." Next up on the celebrity-endorsement carousel? Miami Heat forward LeBron James.
Bleacher Report has learned the form that help will take: a 30-second public service announcement, released in time for March Madness, in which the four-time MVP speaks about the importance of health care coverage. It will be similar in style to the television spots featuring former NBA stars Magic Johnson and Alonzo Mourning, each of whom has dealt with a serious health issue—HIV for Johnson and kidney disease for Mourning.
James' spot will air on many outlets, such as ESPN, ABC, TNT and NBA TV, during NBA games. It will also air during local sports programming in markets with a high concentration of uninsured people.
Here are those aforementioned ads from Alonzo Mourning and Magic Johnson, as a frame of reference.
James is nothing if not on message. Per Bleacher Report:
"It's almost like car insurance," James said. "You want to put yourself in a position where—you hope you never get into an accident—but if you do, you want to be secure. And I think a lot of young adults and African-Americans as well are afraid because they are not even educated about it. And hopefully my voice, and hopefully the other people who've done it, can get them more knowledgeable about it."
Obviously, the ramifications of James' involvement can't be quantified -- but it's fair to speculate that with James pitching the Obamacare exchanges, enrollment in the Greater Cleveland area is likely to lag, just out of spite. (Residents of Miami, on the other hand, will very politely show up to enroll in the exchanges, only to leave about three quarters of the way through.)
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LeBron James to Promote Affordable Care Act at President Obama's Request [Bleacher Report]
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