9:30 PM EDT, October 23, 2013
The White House enlisted celebrities like Amy Poehler, Jennifer Hudson and Katy Perry to spread the word about the need to sign up for healthcare insurance, and although their messaging has abated as administration officials grapple with major glitches in the online insurance exchanges, Planned Parenthood has launched a new phone message campaign with a group of celebrities to encourage signups.
Scarlett Johansson, Aisha Tyler and Gabrielle Union lend their voices to Planned Parenthood's messages that can be heard when calls are placed to certain health centers. Each of the actors asks, "Did you know you may be able to enroll in new, more affordable health insurance plans?" Mother Jones obtained copies of the messages here. They urge visits to a Planned Parenthood site on the Affordable Care Act and where to find insurance. While Planned Parenthood provides guidance on where to find coverage, it still refers users to state-run insurance exchanges.
With all of the glitches in the site, the celebrities may have to make their pitch again, as their initial round of tweets and other types of messaging was timed to the rollout on Oct. 1. Their participation in promoting the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, comes in contrast to 2009, when few celebrities lobbied Congress to pass healthcare reform, as it was such a polarizing debate. In fact, after the legislation passed, one of the first showbiz figures to appear in a PSA promoting some of the law's provisos was Andy Griffith, who nevertheless faced some criticism for even doing the spot, which explained its impact on Medicare.
Listen to Johansson's message: