Can 65-Year-Old, Sweatin'-to-the-Oldies-Host Richard Simmons Really Get Millennials to Sign Up for Obamacare?


Last week, Covered California, a group that has received $80 million to promote the Affordable Care Act, hosted a six-hour webathon devoted to getting young people in the Golden State to sign up for Obamacare (currently only about 25 percent of California enrollees are under 35 years old; original estimates called for about 40 percent of enrollees to be 18 to 34 to balance older, sicker patient costs).

Among the segments is the display above which is many things, but relevant to Millennials is not one of them. Watch as 65-year-old diet-and-exercise guru Richard Simmons engages in a dance-off that seems every bit as staged as the Moon landing and Robert Capa's photos.

I like Richard Simmons a lot—he's exactly the sort of strange and wonderful and entrepreneurial character that every free and open society should value. He's a category buster who has managed to help massive numbers of people and he was a good enough sport that he was a regular on the Howard Stern show back in the day.

But anybody who thinks this sort of thing is going to boost enrollment numbers, especially among younger people, is dipping into the medical maryjane again.

Tip: Daniel Kirsner's Twitter feed.