June 21, 2013

Massachusetts health care officials last week revealed that the Obama administration has approached the NBA about partnering to market the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its insurance coverage expansion.

At a meeting of Massachusetts' health insurance exchange committee, officials said that a potential White House-NBA partnership was being discussed.

The sports league has not confirmed the discussions, and federal health officials declined to comment on talks with the NBA.  "We are speaking with a wide range of potential partners and organizations about our efforts to inform Americans of the opportunity to enroll in quality, affordable coverage in the health insurance marketplaces," a CMS spokesperson said.

The Pioneer Institute's Josh Archambeault notes that the target group for an NBA campaign would be young, single males. "[T]he demographics of the NBA certainly match that," Archambeault says, adding, "And probably most important, their season also coincides with open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act."

It is unclear whether a partnership would include basketball's biggest stars. Moreover, Politico notes that an agreement is not certain because the league may consider the health law too partisan and controversial.

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