Obama looks to Hollywood to help promote his healthcare law
Wedged into the blotter on Mike Farah's desk at the Funny or Die studios in Hollywood is an index card with a list — wrangling talent, polishing scripts and arranging shoots — long enough to keep the comedy website executive fully occupied. But these tasks are part of a different quest: the campaign to ensure the success of President Obama's healthcare law.
While the GOP-led House passed a spending bill Friday that would strip federal funding for the Affordable Care Act and force a confrontation with the Senate that could shut down the government, Farah and his team were developing as many as 20 projects involving the healthcare law. The first will go live on Sept. 30, the day before Americans are supposed to be able to enroll in the new health insurance marketplaces.
Farah's drive stems from a series of White House meetings, culminating in a July session in the Roosevelt Room in which the president asked for help promoting the law from a conference table full of artists, entertainers and creative executives including Farah, Amy Poehler, Jason Derulo, Michael Cera and Jennifer Hudson.
"The simplest way to put it was, they had spent all this time and energy and money on the biggest movie of their lives and had no marketing budget in which to promote it. I just thought that was the craziest thing I'd ever heard," Farah said. He volunteered the firm's help, he said, because he knew "we'd do the work."