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Just Whom Obama Hoped to Find ‘Between Two Ferns’

March 11, 2014
Personal Finance
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President Barack Obama handed over his time and the Diplomatic Room of the White House to comedian/actor Zach Galifianakis and his online faux interview series “Between Two Ferns.”

In the snarky exchange, Galifianakis got in a few good jabs, asking, “I have to know, what it is like being the last black president?” and whether once Obama leaves the White House “people will stop letting him win at basketball.” The president had some jokes of his own. When Galifianakis asked if he would run for a third term, Obama told him it would be like the third “Hangover” movie. “Didn’t really work out very well, did it?” Obama said.

But the meat of the video saw Obama stumping for the Affordable Care Act. (When the president launched into his pitch about, Galifianakis sniped: “Speaking of drones…”)

Clearly, Obama is sidestepping the traditional media to encourage younger Americans to sign up for health care before the March 31 deadline. And despite the comedic turn, it’s serious business—for health care premiums to be affordable, more healthy citizens in their 20s and 30s must sign up.

It’s an uphill battle. As NerdWallet research shows, it actually makes less financial sense for people 34 and under to sign up for the first year of Obamacare than to take their chances with their health, based on average expected medical cost.

The good news for Obama: A Gallup poll Monday found that Obamacare enrollment has helped the number of uninsured fall to its lowest level in five years.

The bad news? The numbers of uninsured young people remains stubbornly high.

While the Obama administration has made the enrollment of young adults a priority “as healthcare experts say 40 percent of new enrollees must be young and healthy for the Affordable Care Act to be successful,” the report “highlighted no significant changes in young adults’ enrollment” since December.

Read more: The $1,000 mistake? Why getting insured is 5x more costly for healthy young adults in 2014