Published July 23, 2013
President Obama is enrolling some star power to promote ObamaCare amid public doubts and embarrassing setbacks to his signature health care law.
Obama stopped by a private White House meeting Monday with celebrities including singer Jennifer Hudson and actors Amy Poehler, Michael Cera and Kal Penn.
The White House said the artists expressed interest in helping spread the word about the health insurance marketplaces opening Oct. 1. Insurers need healthy young customers to help offset the costs of older, sicker consumers.
Obama told the artists they could help reach young uninsured Americans who will be vital to his signature law's success, according to the White House.
The group also included representatives for Oprah Winfrey, Alicia Keys and Bon Jovi. Also in attendance were officials with Internet video makers YouTube and Funny or Die, which are working on promotions featuring comedians.
The House voted last week to delay two key components of the law, the 38th and 39th time they have gone on record in favor of repealing, reducing or otherwise neutering the system that bears Obama's name.
In the case of one of the mandates, a requirement for businesses to provide insurance to their workers, the administration announced a one-year delay earlier this month.
But House Republicans also voted 251-174 for a measure that would delay the individual mandate -- the requirement on individuals to buy health insurance -- for a year as well.
Republicans argue that both delays are necessary. While they endorsed the delay for businesses, House Speaker John Boehner and other GOP lawmakers say it's unfair to deny everyone else a similar reprieve.
President Obama has already threatened to veto the bills.
In a speech last week, the president dismissed the GOP's so-far-futile votes and said said the program is working the way it was supposed to with "better benefits, stronger protections, more bang for your buck."
"What I've heard is just the same old song and dance," Obama said of his critics. "We're just going to blow through that stuff and just keep on doing the right thing for the American people."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.