Obama to ‘Invincibles’: Please?

Photograph by Funny Or Die/AP Photo

This image from video released by Funny Or Die shows President Obama, left, with actor-comedian Zach Galifianakis during an appearance on “Between Two Ferns,” the digital short with a laser focus on reaching people aged 18 to 34.

Life in the White House isn’t as dramatic as it appears on TV, President Barack Obama says.

“I have to tell you,” Obama told talk show host Ellen DeGeneres in an interview airing today. “Life in Washington is a little more boring than displayed on the screen.”

“If you followed me, most of my day is sitting in a room listening to a bunch of folks in grey suits talking about a whole bunch of stuff that wouldn’t make very good television.”

This is only part of the length to which Obama is going to pitch his signature health-care program, the Afffordable Care Act, as a March 31 deadline nears for enrolling in insurance plans online. His appeals online, on television and on the road are especially aimed at the younger, healthier audience which Obamacare needs to achieve its goal of affordably insuring millions of Americans lacking health insurance.

In pursuit of the so-called “invincibles,” young Americans who perceive no immediate need for health insurance, Obama even has sat with a popular comedian, Zach Galifianakas, for an online interview routine sponsored by the website, “Funny or Die,” largely based on personal insults.

“What’s it like to be the last black president?” the comic star of films such as the “Hangover” series asked the first black president of the United States.

“Seriously?” Obama replied dead-pan. “What’s it like for this to be the last time you talk to a president?”

Obama noted that he’d seen better episodes of the comedian’s “Between the Ferns” interviews — including one of Bradley Cooper, another star of the “Hangover” series. Cooper, Obama added, was the real Hangover star.

After a series of back-and-forth ribbing, Obama finally got to the reason for this appearance:

“I wouldn’t be with you here today if I didn’t have something to plug,” he said. “Healthcare.gov works great now,” he said of the website that suffered a botched roll-out at its introduction in October. “What we want people to know is you can get affordable health care. Most young Americans, right now, they’re not covered.”

Many young people are “invincible,” the president said, “meaning they don’t think they can get hurt.

As Bloomberg’s Alex Wayne has reported,  the administration says 4.2 million people have enrolled in health plans through February. Youth enrollment has continued to expand, with 1.1 million people ages 18 to 34 signed up by March 1, an increase of 268,475 in a month,  health officials said in a report.

The sponsor of the legislation which stands as this president’s signature first-term achievement delivered the same message in that interview for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” today.

“You know, we’ve got about two weeks left until March 31 for people to sign up,” Obama said, making a pointed appeal to “young moms,” part of the daytime talk show’s target audience. “What we’ve said is, `You never know what life is going to throw at you. You at this point can get health insurance in some cases for $100 a month and less.”’

Obama’s appearances have taken him this week to the cable TV sports network, ESPN, where the “predictor-in-chief” each year offers his predictions in the “March Madness” playoffs for the NCAA basketball championship. At ESPN, they call it “Barack-etology.”

In an appeal to young men, the White House is playing on March Madness as a metaphor for the Healthcare.gov deadline. The president’s bracket of the winners at each tournament stage was accompanied by a “16 Sweetest Reasons to Get Covered.”

They failed to mention that Obama, picking Michigan State University to win the men’s championship this year, has gotten only one right in his last five years of picking champs.

“I’ve got Michigan State going all the way,” the president said, marker in hand at the dry-erase board. “Bring it home for me, it’s been a while since I’ve won my pool.”

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