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White House Tries Star Power To Sell Health Insurance

The success of President Obama's health care law depends a lot on whether healthy 20- and 30-somethings end up buying insurance. At first the administration was hoping to recruit pro football stars in its PR push, but after a couple of Republicans sent the NFL a letter, that didn't happen. So now the White House is turning to celebrities — like Michael Cera, Jennifer Hudson and Amy Poehler.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: A healthy resistance.

The success of President Obama's health care law depends a lot on whether healthy 20- and 30-somethings will end up buying insurance. At first, the administration was hoping to recruit pro football stars in its PR push, but after a couple of Republicans sent the NFL a letter, that didn't happen. So now the White House is turning to celebrities - names like Michael Cera, Jennifer Hudson and Amy Poehler were reportedly in Washington this week.

I mean, can't you almost hear Poehler, who plays Leslie Knope in NBC's "Parks and Recreation," demonstrating the pitfalls of self-medicating?

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "PARKS AND RECREATION")

AMY POEHLER: (as Leslie Knope) I'm not sick. I just have allergies, OK? I took a Claritin and I threw that up, so I took another one, I threw that up, and then I took a third and it stayed down.

GREENE: There you have it.

The White House hopes celebrities like Poehler will make paying for insurance an easier pill to swallow. But a Wall Street Journal report suggests that many young adults might not buy it. For some, the penalty for going without insurance is cheaper than buying it. Many other young people simply aren't paying attention to how the law will affect them.

And that's the business news on MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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