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President Obama Plugs Healthcare.Gov On Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis

Submitted by on March 11, 2014 – 4:04 pmOne Comment

President Barack Obama surprised Washington insiders and comedy fans this morning with an appearance on the popular webseries Between Two Ferns. The (intentionally) deadpan, standoff-ish interview with comedian Zach Galifianakis is part of an ongoing push from the White House to get young people to sign up for insurance through Healthcare.gov.

BTF usually shows host Galifianakis (or his onscreen persona, at least) bumbling through offensive and uninformed questions for his A-list guest, and this was no exception. What was more surprising was how game the Commander-in-Chief was to return in kind (all in good fun, of course).

In a typical exchange, Galifianakis asks, “What is it like to be the last black president?”

“Seriously? What’s it like for this to be the last time you ever talk to a president?” responds Obama.

Reaction to the video has split largely along partisan lines, with conservatives saying the President is too cozy with Hollywood celebrities or the appearance is beneath the office, while liberals praise this as an effective way to pitch Healthcare.gov to younger users.

The model of expanded healthcare depends heavily on younger Americans buying insurance. As generally healthy citizens who consume less healthcare, their premiums will help pay for older Americans, who consume much more. Though Healthcare.gov had a disastrous roll out in October, it had reached four million enrolled by the end of last month. However, that’s still two million short of the goal for March 31.

Complete enrollment statistics are not available yet, but the recent PR push for young people suggests they are a priority. First Lady Michelle Obama recently touted the website on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

As with the president’s recent interview, Mrs. Obama criticized young people for thinking they are “invincible.”

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