On Tuesday, the comedy website Funny or Die posted a video featuring the President being interviewed by actor Zach Galifianakis. The interview was part of a comedy series of Galifianakis’ known as ‘Between Two Ferns’, where the actor performs comedic interviews with well-known people. Overall, while the video was generally regarded as very funny and showcased the President’s comedic skills, conservatives still found a reason to whine and complain about it.
In the end, it appears that the President will have the last laugh regarding the comedy stint. In just 24 hours, the video was viewed a whopping 13 million times. 54,000 viewers of the video immediately went and visited the federal healthcare exchange website, Healthcare.gov. This led to a one-day increase of 40% over the site’s normal traffic for the previous month. The video will likely still continue to get millions of hits over the next few days, so it won’t be surprising if the ACA website continues receiving higher-than-normal traffic in that time.
Obviously, this will come as more bad news for critics of the ACA, especially for Republicans who still think they can go about repealing the law. Not only did the President come off as much ‘cooler’ than the normal Republican due to the hilarious sketch, but he was definitely aware that the video would help in the final month’s push in enrolling more people in individual healthcare plans. As always, the President is two steps ahead of his critics.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney had the following to say about the video:
“Very quickly this video went viral and not just because people thought it was funny and the regular viewers of Funny or Die clicked on it and watched it, but that it was getting folks – the video itself was causing the action that we hoped it would cause, which is getting folks to go to HealthCare.gov and look at the options available to them and hopefully enroll.”
Currently, it is estimated that 4.2 million people have signed up on the state or federal insurance exchanges. Roughly 25% of those are young adults, aged 18-34. While critics have pointed out that optimistic estimates early on wanted 40% of new enrollees to fall into that age group, the law will remain economically feasible with the 25% figure. With this video hitting that target age group specifically, it is very possible that the final figures will show a nice little bump in young adults signing up.