Amidst a stumbling start for the Affordable Health Care Act, The California Endowment, a private health foundation that is currently touting Obamacare, is providing a $500,000 grant to help educate the public on the merits of Obamacare—via their favorite television shows.
The grant, which was given to the USC Norman Lear Center to administer, was created to educate and encourage citizens to enroll in Obamacare, primarily in major demographics such as Hispanics, as well as the young and healthy. According to The Blaze, "The 18-month grant, to the Lear Center’s Hollywood Health & Society program, will be used for briefings with staff from television shows and to track health overhaul-related depictions on prime-time and Spanish-language television."
According to Martin Kaplan of the Lear Center, "We know from research that when people watch entertainment television, even if they know it’s fiction, they tend to believe that the factual stuff is actually factual." Given that, insurance and health professionals chosen by the center will be sent out to educate TV show staffs on the merits of Obamacare, under the guise of educating television viewers about all their health options. As Kaplan says, “Public health is a common good. Public health is not a partisan issue. America needs to be healthy. People need to have access to health care. That’s not a controversial statement.”
While Kaplan and other members of the Lear center have been quick to defend that their administration of the grant will not afford them creative control over the content of the shows they advise, it's hard to deny that an injection of cash from an Obamacare support group won't result in some pro-Obamacare propaganda, especially in Democrat-heavy Hollywood. While there's no denying the fact that film and television can influence the pulse of our nation—GLAAD released a survey a few years ago showing that the increase of gay and lesbians on television positively correlated with the American public having increasingly favorable feelings towards gays and lesbians in real life—Obamacare could have used this support long back. Given the lengthy administration period, a more important question remains: will this actually fix any of the problems?