Cultural trends are often said to “jump the shark” when they go too far and become laughable or obsolete. The White House is in this territory with its desperate—desperate—marketing of Obamacare.
Today, Lance Bass—a member of the boy band *NSYNC, which was popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s—tweeted that he was “entering the White House to meet w the President to discuss health care reform.” He added a website address: “HealthCare.org.”
Politically active Twitter users quickly mocked this high-level meeting and the fact that the pop star of yesteryear didn’t even know he was supposed to be pointing followers to HealthCare.gov.
The tweet has since been deleted, but here it is for posterity:
Bass responded to the outcry by tweeting, “Grow up people! A handful of private citizens were invited to talk about Health Care. I have questions just like you- and I brought in several that my fans have brought up. I’m not writing any laws here. Don’t hate because I’m trying to get educated.”
This comes just one day after comedy website Funny or Die released a video with actor Zach Galifianakis interviewing President Obama. The star poked fun at Obamacare’s website woes and acted as though he had a pre-existing condition of spider bites, which the President of course assured him would be covered.
“I think it’s fair to say that I wouldn’t be with you here today if I didn’t have something to plug,” Obama said in the video. He promised that “HealthCare.gov works great now” and expressed hope that young people would sign up.
The young people they’re targeting now are the ones they didn’t get with the singing animals video, porta-potty ads, “brosurance” ad campaign, NFL football tie-ins, pub crawls, Magic Johnson, or any number of other gimmicks they’ve tried.
The White House bragged about the traffic Funny or Die was sending to HealthCare.gov. But site traffic doesn’t equal Obamacare enrollment. Actually, the administration still isn’t saying how many Americans are enrolled in Obamacare—it keeps touting the number of people who have selected a plan on the website, regardless of whether they’ve paid a premium.
Obamacare is a disaster. And the White House’s outreach strategy is comical—when it doesn’t mean to be.