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Will Obama's Online Spoof Spur ACA Enrollment For Target Age Group?

BOSTON (CBS) --- In order for the Affordable Care Act to succeed, more American have to sign up for coverage.

The Obama Administration has been struggling to get younger people interested so the president is trying a new tactic.

Some are calling it smart, others are calling it desperation, but the President's appearance on an offbeat online spoof of public access cable-tv talk shows with Zach Galifianakis, proves one thing -- he's willing to go to great lengths to secure crucial demographic balance in the health care sign-up pool.

He wasn't just there to trade quips, it's all to fix a problem that could undermine Obamacare's financial stability - the lack of enough younger, healthy subscribers to pay the freight for older, sicker enrollees.

Prior efforts to spur younger sign ups just haven't gotten it done.

But what about the target audience, young adults more likely to watch an online video than read a newspaper? Does Obama's comedic skit make a difference in the long run?

"In order to get the idea out there, I think its very effective. In order to actually start making people move and change things? it's up to the individual," Emerson student Issy Loskutoff said.

"It's not like we can be pushed around quite as simply as a lot of people believe I think," said Emerson student Kiernan Zehring.

Communication expert and Emerson College professor Spencer Kimball thinks the video may turn out to be a clever flop.

"People might say, ' Yeah, it was funny, but he really didn't show the problem with not getting it,'" Kimball said.

The latest federal figures show only 25-percent of total ACA enrollment is between 18 and 34 years old. They say they need 38-percent to strike the right balance. Even in Massachusetts, new 18 to 34 enrollment is below 30-percent.



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