President Obama’s somewhat testy but endlessly hilarious Between Two Ferns clip with Zach Galifianakis is storming the Internet this morning, racking up more than 3 million views in just a few hours.
Even more, it appears that the president’s gambit — looking a little silly — was worth it to reach a core demographic of the Affordable Care Act in order to ensure the long-term health of the law.
The bet paid off. According to Tara McGuinness, who is part of the White House communications crew, FunnyOrDie, the site where the clip is hosted, is the “#1 source of referrals to http://HealthCare.gov right now.” They wanted hits, and they got them.
Of course, hits to the now-fixed health care website are not the same things as signed-up youths with fresh health care in their pocket. But to get more youngins onto the health care exchanges, you need to start somewhere. Young people matter for the Affordable Care Act as their general health lowers their cost to insurance companies, balancing out the old and sick that are now eligible for insurance of their own.
The Obama administration is in a race to get people signed up, with Politico summing the current situation succinctly in a recent article: “Four million down. Two million to go. Five weeks to get it done. Obamacare enrollment in a nutshell.” So expect more non-traditional outreach.
According to an interesting piece in Variety, the president’s spot on Two Ferns happened because “the White House was familiar with Funny or Die, which had done topical political satire and humorous videos about healthcare reform” before. Also, the president apparently feigned most of his irritation in the clip, unsurprisingly.