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White House will use Twitch competition to raise health care awareness

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Well, this is interesting. Popular game streaming service Twitch is hosting a gaming event that takes place at the White House. Called simply the “White House Competitive Gaming Event,” its sole purpose is to raise awareness of the importance of health insurance — not to showcase President Barack Obama’s Twitch skills before he hands the Oval Office over to President-elect Donald Trump. Enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace closes on December 15 for coverage starting on January 1.

Obviously, the gaming event will be streamed by Twitch ( It will take place on Monday at 4 p.m. (ET) with live streaming competitions featuring professional and well-known gamers. Most of these individuals will talk about why it’s important to grab health insurance, especially given that the general public is unsure how Trump plans to replace Obama’s health care law, the Affordable Care Act, better known as “Obamacare.”

Here are some of the streamers that will be participating in the event:

The four-hour event will be hosted by Anna Prosser “misscliks” Robinson, streamer and programming manager at Twitch. She will be joined by Gootecks and Goldenboy, who will commentate matches such as the scheduled Rocket League Pro-Am Showmatch, a Street Fighter V showdown between Justin Wong and Mike Ross, and more. The actual details surrounding all the tournaments taking place during the event is unknown for now, but Twitch may provide a full schedule soon.

As for the Rocket League Pro-AM Showmatch, Twitch said this tournament will include Fireburner, JacobRL, and sad_junior from NRG esports’ Rocket League team. They will be joined by Twitch streamer Moses from the University of Kentucky, who is also apparently a big Rocket League player too.

“We appreciate how the White House has recognized the power and passion of our community,” sTwitch Product Marketing Manager Brian Petrocelli said in a statement. “Their desire to present the Competitive Gaming Event to promote health coverage enrollment exemplifies how they continue to have their hand on the pulse of the younger generation.”

This is not the first time Obama has dipped his toes in the gaming community. In his campaign for re-election in 2012, he reached out to gamers in advertisements on Electronic Arts’ casual games portal Pogo and within the publisher’s mobile games like Battleship and Tetris. Prior to that, Obama paid $44,500 to game publishers in his original campaign for the president’s seat for advertising in Burnout Paradise, The Incredible Hulk, Guitar Hero III, and more than a dozen other titles.

Consumers wanting to get new insurance or renew the plan they have through the Health Insurance Marketplace have until next Thursday to act. Coverage begins on January 1 for Americans who enrolled or changed plans by December 15. However, January 31 is the last day these customers can enroll or change a 2017 health plan sold via the Affordable Care Act. After that, consumers can make changes or enroll if they qualify for the government’s special enrollment period. To get started, head here. Existing customers can log in here.

Article originally published on 12-08-2016. Updated on 12-12-2016 by Lulu Chang: Added Twitch live-stream. 

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