President Obama's health care rollout will soon get a boost on nightly television after a pro-Obamacare organization gave a grant to Hollywood Health & Society to use sitcoms to boost enrollment in the health care exchanges.
“They'll be giving them content, storylines, information, so that people watching those programs will learn about Obamacare and useful information about how to get enrolled," Daniel Zingale, a vice president at The California Endowment, told marketplace.org to explain why his organization gave $500,000 to Hollywood Health & Society.
The $500,000 is a tiny fraction of the $225 million the endowment is using to "support the successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act in California."
The grant comes as California attempts to launch it's health care exchange, which had a difficult rollout when the website came online last week.
Glitches confounded the site's operation, which officials attributed to the 5 million people who visited the site. In fact, only 650,000 went to the page.
"Someone misspoke and thought it was indeed 5 million hits," a spokesman for the exchange told the Los Angeles Times. "That was incorrect."
The funding complements the Department of Health and Human Services public relations budget.
"Even if they know it is fiction, even if they know if writers can make stuff up, especially in the realm of medicine and public health, if a doctor says something to a patient, people tend to think that someone has checked that, that it’s true,” Marty Kaplan, director of the University of Southern California's Norman Lear Center — which runs Hollywood Health & Society — said to marketplace.org.