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One of the White House's celebrity pitchmen for Obamacare is taking a bruising on Facebook for urging fans to sign up for coverage through their state health insurance exchanges.
Will Ferrell posted a picture to his 8.8 million Facebook fans of himself yesterday holding a cardboard sign with the hashtag #GetCovered written on it. The White House reposted it to its 2.1 million followers.
Mr. Ferrell's post has racked up more than 17,600 likes and 1,750 shares, but also 4,000 mostly scathing comments.
A sampling that doesn't contain expletives:
"How much are they paying you for this? Please don't get involve in politics Will!"
"I thought he was only a fool in the movies…………."
"Great at comedy, terrible at common sense."
The White House has already had the help of celebrity endorsers to promote the rollout of Obamacare. Jennifer Hudson, Olivia Wilde and Elizabeth Banks made Funny or Die videos last fall, and Gabrielle Union, Scarlett Johansson and Aisha Tyler recorded greetings for Planned Parenthood.
A long list of stars including Kerry Washington, Connie Britton and Lady Gaga tweeted out selfies of themselves holding #GetCovered signs in October when the health insurance exchanges opened.
Mr. Ferrell's post comes as a deadline is looming. The last day to sign up for 2014 coverage without tax penalties is March 31, which was extended from mid-February. Vice President Joe Biden said last week that reaching the forecast of 7 million sign-ups for private health insurance once put forth by the Congressional Budget Office would be a stretch. (The projection had since dropped to 6 million.)
As of Feb. 1, there were 3.3 million sign-ups.