President Obama has received a helping hand from Hollywood in building support for the healthcare law he signed this past spring.
Actors America Ferrera and Jack Black have teamed up with HCAN (Healthcare For America NOW), the coalition that led the fight for health care reform, for a comedy-driven video entitled “The Mis-Informant." The spot is an attempt to lampoon what they believe is the flood of “corporate lies and false information” health insurance industry front groups have been spreading.
“While this video is brilliant comedy, it is also part of a serious public education effort,” HCAN Executive Director Ethan Rome told Pop Tarts. “Opponents of the law are spending millions to spread outright lies about the law and its supporters.”
In the video, Ferrera plays a school teacher and Black plays “professional misinformant” Nathan Spewman, who goes into a classroom to “tell lies” and try to convince the children that only his way to right. He warns the class that the “death panel” will kill all their grandmas, and that Obama was born in “Tirjerkistan.”
In another scene, Black’s Spewman quashes a young girl’s aspirations to be a doctor. “ObamaCare is a socialist plot to take decisions out of the hands of our doctors so that they're all going to quit. Bye bye doctors,” he says.
The 60 Plus Association, one of several organizations accused by HCAN for spreading lies about heath care reform, is fighting back against the spot, particularly when it comes to the elderly.
“60 Plus is committed to holding politicians accountable for their votes. Never before have American seniors been in greater jeopardy,” the association’s spokesperson Tom Kise said. “The healthcare bill passed by Congress costs over a trillion dollars, raises taxes, and cuts Medicare spending by $500 billion.”
Other critics of the healthcare law warn viewers not to buy the star-studded schtick.
“Hollywood should be more concerned about the mental health of America’s children with all the cattle crap they are putting in their brains than a healthcare bill that those same children will be stuck paying for the rest of their lives,” Patrick Dorinson, GOP communications strategist and founder/CEO of Dorinson Communications, told Pop Tarts. “In 20 years no one will remember these two ‘stars’ ever existed, but the debt we will pay for ObamaCare will still be here."
Matthew Vadum, a senior editor at the Capital Research Center in Washington DC doesn’t hold it against Black and Ferrera for lending their names to the issue.
“Jack Black is a funny guy, but he's not exactly a well informed person on public policy issues,” Vadum said. “I don't think Black's lying, because he's a liberal and he probably believes the total government takeover of the health care system set in motion by the passage of the health care law is a good thing. HCAN routinely churns out propaganda. Its spokespeople lie day in and day out in order to put the best face on the horrors of ObamaCare.”
On the flipside, others support the actors for getting behind the issue ahead of the midterm elections.
“Black and Ferrera seem to be passionate about the health care cause and more power to them. It isn’t always easy for a celebrity to support a controversial issue or charity,” said Jason Maloni, Senior VP at Levick Strategic Communications. “It seems like HCAN have settled on their answer to Harry and Louise. It’s Jack and America.”
-- Deidre Behar contributed to this report.