Election 2012

Obama Administration Required to Spend $20 Million Advertising ObamaCare


For the last two years, the Obama administration and its allies have been unsuccessfully attempting to boost ObamaCare's consistently struggling poll numbers through various messaging strategies. They tried telling people that in fact they really liked the law, Jedi mind-trick style. They tried not talking about the law at all. They tried selectively highlighting the parts of the law they thought people would like. They published ObamaCare-themed electronic Mother's Day cards, so you could tell her, really tell her, just how special she is to you.

Mom didn't come through for the administration. Neither did the rest of the public. Despite the various efforts, the law's poll numbers have remained stubbornly low.

But maybe a new $20 million ad campaign will succeed where previous messaging efforts have failed? Health and Human Services Director Kathleen Sebelius has her fingers crossed: According to PR Week, marketing firm Porter Novelli — the ad wizards that gave us both the USDA food pyramid and the Truth antismoking campaign — has won a $20 million contract to promote the law through a multimedia advertising blitz. The campaign will "inform the American people about the many preventive benefits now available to those with Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurance as a result of the Affordable Care Act," an HHS official told the trade publication.

You can't pin this campaign on desperation because it's required by the health law itself. According to The Hill, "The campaign was mandated by the Affordable Care Act and must describe the importance of prevention while also explaining preventive benefits provided by the healthcare law." How convenient: The law's authors set aside $20 million to advertise the law's benefits during an election year. Don't like the existence of the campaign? Don't blame the folks in the Obama administration: They had to do it.

How big is a $20 million marketing campaign? Big enough that when independent political groups spend the same amount on ads criticizing President Obama, the expansive adjectives start to roll: When Crossroads GPS, a conservative activist group led by former Bush adviser Karl Rove, announced a $20 million ad effort attacking the current administration's economic record, National Journal called the first $5 million ad rollout "significant," while ABC described the entire project as a "massive $20 million TV ad campaign."

It seems only reasonable, then, to describe this as a "significant," even "massive," expenditure of taxpayer funds to promote the president's health law during an election year. 


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  1. Well, it’s a good thing the government isn’t allowed to use propaganda against US citizens.

    1. Well played.

  2. She is the White Queen.

    1. Frosty is unfit for any Hellfire Club of which I’m aware.

  3. That woman would look so much better if her hair was on fire.

    1. Come on sarcasmic, she can’t be more than a size four. She is just your type. Take a walk on the wild side.

      1. Aren’t there some chubbies somewhere that you should be chasing?

        1. Admit it, you know you find her attractive. Evil is the best aphrodisiac.

          1. *barf*

  4. Wow, they found a law that the President will follow. Will wonders never cease!

  5. the ad firm that gave us both the USDA food pyramid and the Truth antismoking campaign

    Since they just end up banning cigarettes and “unhealthy” foods anyway, are these new ads the precursor to the illegality of illnesses?

    1. The Truth anti smoking campaign was pure LOL.

      1. The best part was how it tried to be edgy, and was about as edgy as a butter knife. Pure lulz.

        1. It was great. We are just young people out telling the truth that cigarettes are dangerous man. No one has ever done that before.

          1. Any chance the new ad campaign will be just as ludicrous and thereby help reveal ObamaCare as the joke it is?

          2. We’re totally not propaganda from the government, dude! We’re cool! Because we don’t like smoking! Wait, that’s not cool! Shit!!!

            Dennis Reynolds: If you don’t like smoke, then don’t come into the bar.

            Charlie Kelly: I work in this bar. I work here.

            Dennis Reynolds: But that’s because you have the freedom to choose to work here, okay? Smoking bans, they don’t protect freedom, they strip it away from smokers.

            Frank Reynolds: Look, I didn’t go to Vietnam just to have pansies like you take my freedom away from me.

            Dee Reynolds: You went to Vietnam in 1993 to open up a sweatshop!

            Frank Reynolds: And a lot of good men died in that sweatshop!

    2. I knew the PPACA would make all of us healthy and save us money, too.

      With diseases banned no one will ever need to go to a doctor or hospital again.

      1. Nope, sick people will go straight to jail.

        1. The bastards will have it coming

  6. Who heads up Porter Novelli? Imma gonna check…

      1. Funny, those leadership pictures are all white bread and the link just above ‘leadership’ is ‘diversity’. They must be hip, what with all the irony.

  7. This deal keeps getting worse all the time.

    1. It’s like a nightmare, isn’t it?

      It just keeps getting worse, and worse…

      /Color of Money

    2. That VaderCare thread from a year ago (or whenever) was pretty classic.

      1. They tried telling people that in fact they really liked the law, Jedi mind-trick style.

        ‘This is not the law you’re looking to repeal.’

        1. You think you are kidding. Wait until it is repealed or SCOTUS kills it. I will bet you dollars to doughnuts that the spin will be that it was a popular law that was never allowed to work because an out of control (court or Congress) killed it. You watch. These people are that delusional and that willing to rewrite history.

  8. I hope when SCOTUS overturns Obamacare they force Obama to take the $20 million from somewhere else. Give him the choice between roadz or the childrens!

  9. They were bound to try this since these are the same idiots who believe fast food commercials MAKE people buy fast food.

    1. Which explains why you still see so many Roy Rodgers franchises around.

  10. It should be illegal to spend taxpayer money on pro-government advertising.

    Then again, common sense is, for all intents and purposes, illegal now.

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