Obama talks with Ellen about health care, 'Scandal' and celebrity selfies

With less than two weeks until enrollment closes on Obamacare insurance exchanges, President Obama took his health care pitch to "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" on Thursday, urging moms to get their kids covered and explaining to DeGeneres how different television's White House is from the real thing.

"If you don't have health insurance right now, you should go on HealthCare.gov and especially all the moms out there who may have young people - 26, 27 - don't have health insurance but they think they're invincible and nothing's ever going to happen to them," Obama said in a remote appearance from what the host called the "Ellen Blue Room" at the White House.

Delivering what has become the White House's closing argument in its push to get young people to buy insurance before March 31, the President said that health insurance protects against life's uncertainties, "And it gives you some financial security, it gives moms some mental security that their kids are going to have some decent care."

Obama acknowledged how key youth enrollment is to keeping insurance costs down. Responding to a question about why there needs to be an enrollment deadline at all, the President explained that insurers need to know what their customer pool looks like so they can set rates for next year.

"The insurers, they're pricing for a year, and then they need to figure out how many people have signed up, what the risk pool looks like, how many elderly people there are, how many healthy people, how many young people, and that's how they set prices for the following year," Obama said, explaining that uninsured people who don't sign up by March 31 will have to wait until November for their next opportunity.

DeGeneres also inquired about the President's television-watching habits, asking if he watches two of the most popular Washington D.C.-based shows, ABC's "Scandal" and Netflix's "House of Cards."

"I have to tell you, life in Washington is a little more boring than displayed on the screen," Obama said, acknowledging that he's watched the Netflix political drama. "If you followed me, most of my day is sitting in a room, listening to a bunch of folks in grey suits talking about a whole bunch of stuff that wouldn't make very good television."

Comparing it to DeGeneres' show, where the host dances to kick off every episode, Obama said, "There is not much dancing in the Situation Room as a general rule."

With First Lady Michelle Obama taking the rest of the family on a goodwill trip to China Wednesday, DeGeneres introduced the interview as an appearance from her friend "Michelle's husband," who is home alone.

"Did you make your bed this morning?" DeGeneres asked, checking in on how the President was getting along in his family's absence.

"That would be no," Obama said. "And when she's out of town, things get a little slovenly around the house, socks everywhere."

The President reported that he had in fact been taking care of himself, eating "carrot sticks along with the potato chips," but the White House is "abandoned," which means he's expected to walk the dogs.

DeGeneres also apologized for breaking the President's record for the most retweeted picture in history with her celebrity selfie taken during the Oscars in early March.

"I thought it was a pretty cheap stunt myself," Obama joked, "Getting a bunch of celebrities in the background, feeding them pizza."

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