A bevy of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities starred in several on-screen campaigns to help build support around the passage of the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare. Now, more than seven years after it was signed into law, President Obama’s crowning legislative achievement is likely going to collapse under its own bureaucratic weight.
After numerous failed attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appears to be in agreement with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence’s plan to pass a clean repeal of Obamacare now and pass a replacement plan later.
“Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate,” President Trump tweeted late Monday, adding: “Dems will join in!”
Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2017
Now that the health of Obamacare is looking more bleak than ever, let’s take a look at the creepiest celebrity advertising campaigns surrounding the law. Astute readers will recall that the Obama White House specifically enlisted the help of Hollywood to sell the law.
1. Obama and Zach Galifianakis
In March, 2014, Obama appeared on Funny or Die’s comedy web series “Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis” to promote the Obamacare health exchanges.
For six minutes, the Hangover star and Obama traded barbs with one another and joked about spider bites and basketball.
2. Obama and Bill Murray
Last December, actor Bill Murray teamed with President Obama for a round of putt-putt from the White House in an effort to promote the waning days of open enrollment.
A short video sees Murray and President Obama putting gold balls in the Oval Office as the president reminds viewers that open enrollment for the health care exchanges ends on December 15.
— White House Archived (@ObamaWhiteHouse) December 12, 2016
3. LeBron promotes Obamacare
NBA superstar LeBron James starred in a video pitching Obamacare exchange market enrollment to young people in March, 2014.
“Hi, I’m LeBron James. I know how important it is to take care of yourself, your friends, and your family,” the three-time world champion said in the 30-second advert. “That’s why I wanted to tell you about the health insurance marketplace at healthcare.gov. You can go there to find an affordable health plan as part of the health care law. The deadline to enroll is March 31. So sign up now.”
“Any way I can help the president,” James told Bleacher Report at the time, “that’s pretty cool.”
4. Celebrities push #GetCovered campaign.
Several celebrities, from Lady Gaga to Amy Poehler to Olivia Wilde and John Legend, took to social media in October 2013 to help encourage people to sign up for health coverage at healthcare.gov.
The campaign simply consisted of countless stars holding up signs with the social media hashtag #GetCovered on it.
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) October 2, 2013
— Pharrell Williams (@Pharrell) October 2, 2013
— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) October 3, 2013
— AmyPoehlerSmartGirls (@smrtgrls) October 2, 2013
— Team Connie Britton (@TeamConnieBritt) October 3, 2013
— Verne Troyer (@VerneTroyer) October 4, 2013
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The gov't shut down over this y'all? #GetCovered – It's time that all of us have the same access to health care that our elected officials do. All of us. Get informed. Get covered. Visit www.healthcare.gov to learn more, and to get all the real facts. You deserve it. We all do. xo
— Taye Diggs (@TayeDiggs) October 3, 2013
— Emily VanCamp (@EmilyVanCamp) October 3, 2013
— Kate Bosworth (@katebosworth) October 3, 2013
— Nina Dobrev (@ninadobrev) October 4, 2013
California is where I call home. Now you can #GetCovered if you're a resident. So hurry!
— Adam Levine (@adamlevine) December 12, 2013
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) September 25, 2013
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) October 1, 2013
— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) September 30, 2013
5. Olivia Wilde Plays “Obamacare or Shut Up” with Billy Eichner
In another entry from the Funny or Die team, “former TV doctor” Olivia Wilde plays a game of “Obamacare or Shut Up” with Billy on the Street host Bill Eichner. The purpose of the game is to say “Obamacare” to health care-related sentences, and “shut up” to unrelated sentences.
“Gwyneth Paltrow’s in a movie about sex addiction!” Eichner prompts.
“Shut up!” Wilde replies.
“If you can’t afford it, the government will actually give you money to pay for it,” Eichner asks again.
“Obamacare!” replies Wilde.
Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter: @JeromeEHudson