“And I said, ‘Yeah, man. Totally!'”: The Obamacare Vloggers



NicePeterToo: I Met the President: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEcxXDWqs-A

You really should watch the video embedded above. Last week, President Obama invited several of the young folk with exceptionally active Youtube channels to come visit and talk with him about ideas for how to really use Youtube effectively to get out information about the Affordable Care Act. Now, I say “young folk” from my perspective as an admitted old fogie who remembers life before the Internet existed. I mean, really, before punch card programming. OLD fogie!

Anyway, we spend a lot of time in in various online healthcare communities talking about the power of social media for outreach. We all know that Obama works with masters in using social media effectively, and I’ve blogged about that here many times ([1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7]). Well, he’s done it again!

Last week, President Obama invited a variety of influential Youtube voices to the White House, asking them to help him reach the American youth to enroll in health insurance programs before the March 31st deadline.

Montage: The Obamacare Vloggers

“Attending the meeting were Hannah Hart, creator of the Drunk Kitchen series; Iman Crosson, an Obama impersonator known online as Alphacat; Michael Stephens, the man behind the YouTube channel “VSauce;” Benny and Rafi Fine, creators of the “Kids React” series; Mark Douglas, Todd Womack, and Ben Relles, who introduced the world to Obama Girl six years ago; Peter Shuckoff and Lloyd Ahlquist of “Epic Rap Battles of History” and Tyler Oakley, an LGBT rights advocate with millions of online fans.”
Obama Enlisted YouTube Personalities For Final Health Care Enrollment Push Last Week: The president asked viral video creators to help boost Obamacare enrollment ahead of the March 31 deadline at a White House summit last week. http://www.buzzfeed.com/evanmcsan/obama-enlisted-youtube-personalities-for-final-health-care-e

Another brilliant use of social media. My kid regularly watches about half of these, which means so do I (and, as an aside, you REALLY might enjoy the new “Kids React to Rotary Phones” which made me ROFL. Really. And made my kid ask me if I know what a rotary phone is. Really). That’s what the introductory video is for this post — famous vlogger NicePeter introducing the topic of why and how he met the President, in real people language, and promising more to come. I can’t wait to see what he says, and the other vloggers! Nice Peter looks to be the first of the group to get a video out, but some of them have added this link to existing videos.

Tell a Friend: Get Covered
Tell a Friend: Get Covered: http://www.tellafriendgetcovered.com

Now, WHY Obama is doing this is the million dollar question. Literally. Well, at least that much, probably a lot more. You see, the logic behind pretty much all health insurance plans is that you have LOT of people in the plan, of all ages and all types of health, and then the need for resources will average out over the groups. So to make this work, you need young folk and old, healthy and not-so-healthy. If that doesn’t happen, well, the whole system breaks down, or costs everyone more money than was expected. The way my budget works, those two things amount to pretty much the same problem.

“He needs them to buy health insurance, and, in some cases, spend hundreds of dollars a month for it. If they don’t, the new insurance marketplaces — the absolute core of Obamacare — will be filled with older, sicker people, and premiums will skyrocket. And if that happens, the law will fail.” Obama’s last campaign: Inside the White House plan to sell Obamacare:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/07/17/obamas-last-campaign-inside-the-white-house-plan-to-sell-obamacare/

You’ve probably already figured out that there must be a problem getting young folk to register for Obamacare. Well, it’s true. Sort of. There is a genuine need for more young folk to enroll, but the data about what’s going on is both worrisome and hopeful. Look at the title of this piece.

Bruce Japsen. Less Than A Third Of Enrollees In Obamacare Under Age 34. Forbes 1/13/2014 @ 5:23PM. http://www.forbes.com/sites/brucejapsen/2014/01/13/less-than-one-third-of-obamacare-enrollees-are-under-34/

That is based on enrollment data from the government, and if you read the article, it’s actually fairly positive about youth liking Obamacare and just waiting to enroll because, you know, they’re young, and that’s ‘how they roll.’ Here’s last quarter’s enrollment data.

Figure 2: Trends in the Number of Youth Who Have Selected an Obamacare Plan

During December, there was a more than 8-fold increase in the number of young adults (ages 18-34) who have selected a Marketplace plan through the FFM.


ASPE: Health Insurance Marketplace: January Enrollment Report: For the period: October 1, 2013 – December 28, 2013: http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2014/MarketPlaceEnrollment/Jan2014/ib_2014jan_enrollment.pdf

The next logical question might be, well, why is he doing this so late? Didn’t the Obama team think of reaching out to youth before it got so late? Actually, they’ve been reaching out for quite a while. I’ll post several examples below. The gist of this late push is that even though the numbers are rising, and the expectation was that youth would probably register late, there have been some unfortunate snafus (such as the web page being down on the day of the biggest push for youth enrollment) and that the expected lateness makes for a bit of nervousness and a desire to ensure that the idea of “registering late” doesn’t end up meaning, “Oops! I forgot!” After all, there are consequences to forgetting, both for the youth as individuals and for the good of the entire program.

OBAMA REACHING OUT TO YOUTH

Obama pitches Affordable Care Act to youth at White House Published on Dec 4, 2013

Obamacare: What if not enough young, healthy people enroll? (+video)
The 18-to-34-year-old cohort is the most coveted for the exchanges, and should be about one-third of enrollees, though there are backstops if enrollment falls short.
By Linda Feldmann, Staff writer / December 5, 2013
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/2013/1205/Obamacare-What-if-not-enough-young-healthy-people-enroll-video

Evan McMorris-Santoro. Youth Obamacare Enrollment Groups Surprised To Learn Obamacare Website Won’t Work On National Youth Enrollment Day: “Obviously, it’s unfortunate,” says one youth enrollment leader. The Obama administration is giving applicants who save applications on Feb. 15 extra time to work around downtime on the site. Buzzfeed posted on February 12, 2014 at 3:13pm EST. http://www.buzzfeed.com/evanmcsan/youth-obamacare-enrollment-groups-surprised-to-learn-obamaca

David Morgan. Obamacare enrollment push for the young enters 11th hour. Reuters Fri Feb 14, 2014 1:02am EST
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/14/us-usa-healthcare-enrollment-idUSBREA1D06X20140214

Adam Aigner-Treworgy and Jim Acosta. Obamacare enrollment hits 4 million, push underway to hit revised goal. CNN February 25th, 2014 08:48 PM ET, Updated 8:48 p.m. ET, 2/25/2014. http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2014/02/25/obamacare-enrollment-hits-4-million-push-underway-to-hit-revised-goal/

Get Covered (with NBA Star Kevin Johnson) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vndF-I4Cq5k

3 responses to ““And I said, ‘Yeah, man. Totally!'”: The Obamacare Vloggers

  1. Pingback: From the Mouths of the Youth: Why Register for Obamacare? | THL News Blog

  2. Pingback: From the Mouths of the Youth: Why Register for Obamacare? | Emerging Technologies Librarian

  3. Pingback: Every Day In Many Ways: Solving “Wicked Problems” at the University of Michigan | Emerging Technologies Librarian

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