Magic Johnson Wants You to Get Obamacare

The former NBA star has been enlisted by the White House to push young people to enroll in the law’s exchanges.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - Sportsman Earvin 'Magic' Johnson arrives at the Annual Harold Pump Foundation Gala Honoring Magic Johnson And Bill Russell at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, on August 13, 2009 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
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Sam Baker
Jan. 15, 2014, 6:54 a.m.

Former NBA star Ma­gic John­son is help­ing the White House pro­mote Obama­care en­roll­ment.

“Young people, they think they’re Su­per­man, like noth­ing’s ever go­ing to hap­pen to them. But, trust me, one day something’s go­ing to hap­pen, and you’re go­ing to need a qual­ity health plan. So make sure you get Obama­care,” John­son says in a You­Tube video re­leased by the White House.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion has made a con­cer­ted ef­fort to en­list ath­letes and sports leagues in its health care out­reach, be­cause they reach a crit­ic­al audi­ence: young men. Get­ting them in­to the in­sur­ance sys­tem is vi­tal to its long-term suc­cess.

The Health and Hu­man Ser­vices De­part­ment had sought part­ner­ships with the NFL and the NBA, neither of which worked out, but is nev­er­the­less run­ning pro-en­roll­ment ads on ES­PN and dur­ing the Winter Olympics.

John­son, per­son­ally, is also a nat­ur­al spokes­man for health in­sur­ance. He played 13 sea­sons for the Los Angeles Lakers and led the team to five cham­pi­on­ships be­fore be­ing dia­gnosed with HIV in 1991.

“No one plans to get sick or hurt — I cer­tainly didn’t — but most people will need med­ic­al care at some point in their lives,” John­son said in a White House blog post.


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