Obama answers health care questions on Quora

Ahead of the 2014 deadline to sign up for Obamacare, the president addresses questions on the topic via Q&A service Quora. At the same time, Quora is introducing a verified profile system.

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President Obama responds to questions on Reddit in 2012. The White House

President Obama has been on a media tour to promote the Affordable Care Act, hoping more people will sign up for coverage before the 2014 deadline on March 31.

Obama on Monday added one more outlet to the list: he's answering questions on the Q&A service Quora. To coincide with Obama's presence on the platform, the company announced a new profile verification system, with the president being the first public figure to get an official blue check mark next to his name.

Obama has started out answering two existing questions on the topic -- which just went live on the site -- and will hopefully answer one or two more by the end of the week, said Alex Wu, who heads up product marketing and partnerships for the company.

Addressing a question that asked what improvements the White House has made to the enrollment process since Healthcare.gov's botched rollout, Obama cited the engineering team working to improve response times and the administration adding more call center staffers to help people enroll over the phone. "Now, it's no secret to anyone that we had some issues with the website at launch. But that was months ago," Obama wrote.

Quora is just the president's most recent stop in promoting Obamacare. He's done media hits like appearing on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, and earlier this month was a guest on Zach Galifianakis' Web series,"Between Two Ferns."

Aside from the Quora and "Between Two Ferns" appearances, Obama is no stranger to using popular Web brands to get his point across. He also participated in his first Reddit Q&A, or "Ask Me Anything," in 2012.

But while he's embraced these platforms, the president's dealings with the tech community have been contentious as well. Because of concerns with the NSA's spying tactics, he's met with the leaders of several high tech firms. Last week, Obama met with Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Google's Eric Schmidt, among others. The president held a similar meeting -- addressing both Obamacare and NSA issues -- in the White House in December.

Quora hopes its verified discussions will stand out from the other platforms -- Reddit, Twitter -- in that it will house detailed, long-form content. The site has already become a favorite for Silicon Valley bigwigs to answer questions about the industry, or for employees to tell all about what it's like to work for a certain company.

Wu stressed the content's value as a resource that readers will be able to come back to over time when researching certain topics, as opposed to content on other platforms that is more short lived. "Yes, it's going to have a lot of value if you read it today," he said. "But most of the content on Quora is evergreen."

Other high-profile figures to recently answer questions on the platform are NBA player Jeremy Lin, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, singer Michael Bublé, and director Alfonso Cuarón, who won the Academy Award for best director for "Gravity." They will be verified as well, said Wu.

 

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