The Obamacare March 31 sign-up deadline is rapidly approaching, and it coincides with one of America's fastest and most furious traditions: March Madness. The White House - capitalizing on the pop-culture President's signature legislation as well as his documented love of basketball - has released its own 'bracket' with 16 reasons tailored to demonstrate the benefits of the Affordable Care Act.
The move appears pitched at the younger demographic who may have been slower in signing up for health coverage, with the 18 - 34 age group accounting for just 25 percent of Obamacare registrants. The White House had initially hoped the number would sit at around 40 percent, with President Obama's younger supporters thought to hold the key to Obamacare's success. Going public with his March Madness bracket selection last year, the WhiteHouse.gov blog that the President's picks appeared on was the site's most-hit post of 2013.
While their numbers currently hover lower than anticipated, the White House has also been quick to show that they're nonetheless on a steady incline, with more young people signing up in 2014 than in the earlier stages of the enrollment period.
The "16 Sweetest Reasons to Get Covered Bracket" points to the White House's top reasons for signing up for Obamacare, while playing into the President's popularity as a sports fan. The way it's done, however, is a little more unorthodox - each of the reasons is represented via a GIF, such as one of the First Lady, Michelle Obama, dunking a basketball over LeBron James, and another of a girl twerking in a public bathroom.
The Obamacare-March Madness campaign is assisted by basketball luminaries such as James, Magic Johnson, and Alonzo. James also participated in a 30-second television spot targeted at 'young invincibles' - or young people with no history of health problems who feel that health insurance is unnecessary - that's set to air on during March Madness games and on a range of networks, including ESPN, ABC, TNT, and NBAtv. "You never know when you might take a hit," James says in the PSA.
And he's not the only one. Michelle Obama's mom-in-chief campaign has also drawn the support of several moms, including those of entertainment luminaries such as Alicia Keys, Jonah Hill, and Adam Levine, who urge young people to sign up for coverage for a litany of reasons - yet none more important than to stop their mothers from worrying too much.