Comic relief: Obama’s web skit boosts traffic to HealthCare.gov

13/03/2014

President Obama's appearance on the spoof talk show Between Two Ferns with comedian Zach Galifianakis has boosted traffic to Healthcare.gov, with 54,000 referrals for healthcare in just one day.

View the video below:

In the intentionally awkward video posted on comedy site FunnyorDie on Tuesday, Obama traded insults with the comedian, while plugging the online health care enrollment programme.

In the mock interview, Obama made a pitch to younger Americans to sign up for insurance.

“I wouldn’t be with you here today if I didn’t have something to plug," Obama said. "Have you heard of the Affordable Care Act?”

The strategy seems to be working.

As a result, Tuesday's traffic to Healthcare.gov was almost 40% over Monday's traffic. This morning there were more than 890,000 visits to the site, according to a tweet by HealthCare.gov.

More than 4.2 million people have signed up for insurance as of the end of February, according to the department of Health and Human Services. About 942,000 people signed up for private plans in February, a drop from 1,146,000 in January. The goal is to enroll 7 million people by the March 31 deadline.

At midday Tuesday, White House adviser Tara McGuinness tweeted that Funny or Die was the No. 1 source of traffic to Healthcare.gov. As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, 32,000 referrals came from Funny or Die, with a total of 575,000 visits to the site, according to a HealthCare.gov tweet.

By the end of Tuesday, more than 54,000 referrals had come from Funny or Die, and the site was the top referrer for the day, according to an email from Aaron Albright, HHS spokesman.

The White House also tweeted an inside joke to Galifianakis about Obama's appearance on the show, referring to a spider bite Galifianakis showed the president during the interview.

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