Topics: Obamacare

White House defends Obama's 'Between Two Ferns' interview

|
Politics,White House,Barack Obama,Obamacare,Health Care,PennAve,Meghashyam Mali,Jay Carney

The White House on Tuesday defended President Obama's appearance on a comedy talk show to pitch Obamacare, saying it was the “right call” to reach more Americans.

Obama appeared on “Between Two Ferns” a mock online talk show hosted by comedian Zach Galifianakis. The segment featured Obama and Galifianakis trading insults and the president trying to deliver serious answers to many of the host’s humorously misinformed questions.

Some critics said that Obama’s appearance on the unconventional talk show was not appropriate for a sitting president.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said the interview was “designed to reach Americans where they live” and that those efforts had been successful.

“FunnyorDie.com is the #1 source of referrals to http://healthcare.gov right now,” senior White House communications adviser Tara McGuinness tweeted Tuesday about the website hosting the interview.

Carney, though, conceded that it was “safe to say” there had never been a similar presidential interview before.

The Obama interview was the administration’s latest effort to seek new avenues to reach the public and boost Obamacare sign-ups — in particular among young people — before a March 31 open enrollment deadline.

Signing up young people is crucial to help balance out the older, sicker consumers expected to sign up on new insurance exchanges. But the administration is well behind their targets both for total sign-ups and young consumers.

In the mock interview, Obama urged young people to sign up for insurance.

At one point, Galifianakis showed Obama what he said were spider bites, leading the president to call the sight “disgusting” and encourage him to get covered.

View article comments Leave a comment