Obamacare: Coming to Your Favorite Primetime Show?

Maybe they can sell the success of the program on "Once Upon a Time" along with the other fairy tales.Will Mike and
soon be browsing HealthCare.gov to find coverage for
their diabetes treatments? Will Tyrese on The Walking Dead
lament that the zombie apocalypse has ended any possibility of
getting the mental health assistance he would have been able to
access had the world not ended? Will CSI investigate the
murder-suicide of an elderly couple who had their insurance
policies canceled because they weren’t good enough, according to
the Obama administration?

Maybe. A California-based foundation is dangling
hundreds of thousands of dollars
in front of television shows
to see if anybody bites. From the Associated Press:

The California Endowment, a private foundation that is spending
millions to promote President Barack Obama’s signature law,
recently provided a $500,000 grant to ensure TV writers and
producers have information about the Affordable Care Act that can
be stitched into plot lines watched by millions.

The aim is to produce compelling prime-time narratives that
encourage Americans to enroll, especially the young and healthy,
Hispanics and other key demographic groups needed to make the
overhaul a success.

“We know from research that when people watch entertainment
television, even if they know it’s fiction, they tend to believe
that the factual stuff is actually factual,” said Martin Kaplan of
the University of Southern California’s Norman Lear Center, which
received the grant.

Read the whole piece

A Republican strategist quoted thinks it’s way too late in the
game to attempt using television shows to help recover the
Affordable Care Act’s ailing image and will be perceived as

It’s much more interesting to imagine what the outcome would
have been had ACA supporters had been prepared, and pro-Obamacare
stories were showing up on television shows right now as the
disaster was unfolding. Imagine patients at Seattle Grace Hospital
being earnestly encouraged to visit HealthCare.gov and sign up for
coverage in just minutes and have a good laugh.

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from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/04/obamacare-coming-to-your-favorite-primet

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