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Topics: Obamacare

Late night jokes spell trouble for Obamacare

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Beltway Confidential,Philip Klein,Obamacare,Jon Stewart,Health Care,Analysis,Television

My colleague Charlie Spiering has posted video of "Saturday Night Live" mocking Obamacare in the opening of its latest episode. This follows a week in which the health care law's technology problems have become fodder for late night comedians such as Jon Stewart.

Though it's often said that political problems become real when they enter popular culture in this way, this type of lampooning could actually have real policy implications.

The success of President Obama's health care law depends in large part on attracting a critical mass of young and healthy people to purchase insurance to offset the costs of covering older and sicker enrollees, particularly those with pre-existing conditions.

Leading up to the Oct. 1 launch of the exchanges, White House officials agonized over how to reach this younger demographic, contemplating such possibilities as entering into partnerships with sports leagues.

In other words, younger people who watch shows has such as Stewart's are exactly the type of people the administration needs to convince to visit a website and purchase insurance. If Obamacare has become a joke among these people, it makes the administration's task that much harder, even if the technology issues get resolved in the next month.

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