Obama Administration to Spend Another $8 Million Marketing ObamaCare



The Obama administration has already agreed to spend at least $23 million on public relations and marketing for ObamaCare. And now it says it's about to spend $8 million more.

There's a bit of backstory here. Last May, the Health and Human Services Department confirmed that it had cut a deal to pay PR firm Porter Novelli $20 million to help advertise the law's preventive care features. That may not be a great use of money given that most studies have found that those supposedly "free" preventive services actually end up costing more than they save.

Then last October, HHS announced that it would spend another $3 million with a separate PR firm to promote the law's health insurance exchanges. That money was supposed to go toward advertising the coverage benefits people could be eligible for through the exchanges.

HHS seems to think that first $3 million was a pretty good investment. The Hill reports that the agency just announced that it signed an agreement to spend another $8 million—with the option to spend more—further promoting the exchanges.

I'll give the folks at HHS this: They could probably use some effective marketing. But maybe they ought to consider scaling back a bit, and work more on trying to raise awareness about the law's benefits with Sen. Max Baucus? When you've already spent $3 million promoting ObamaCare's exchanges, and yet the senator who claims to have written the bill on which the law was based thinks those exchanges are about to be a "huge train wreck," you kind of have to wonder whether the agency is really getting much value out of its marketing budget. 

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  1. Spending taxpayer money to say how well you are spending taxpayer money.

    Why does Bernie Madoff come to mind?

  2. That money will be well spent as long as it gets the legislation passed. Fingers crossed!

  3. I saw some of those ObamaCare ads, but they were just white backgrounds with OBEY in huge black letter. Who would pay for ads like that?

    1. The people who saw “They Live” in theaters?

    2. Runs toward screen clutching giant hammer, stops, hurls hammer at screen.

      1. … hammer falls short by ten feet. Guards pummel Dave, crowd doesn’t react.

  4. Why should the government be allowed to market anything?

    1. How else will you know that the government is doing something for you with your current and future tax dollars?

      1. Genius in its subtlety. Well played, sir.

        1. No, I can’t take credit for that. You must credit the government that came up with the scam.

    2. This annoys me as much as those stupid Stimulus Fund Construction Signs.



      1. They need something to point to when the next budget bill comes up, or they’ll have to cut national parks and police hours for a couple days before they get the money back.

  5. Isn’t the best form of advertising ‘word of mouth’?


  6. Just $3M more in advertising. Then I KNOW they’ll love it! Let’s try it! And if for some reason it doesn’t work…well, let’s be optimistic.


  7. You know, for a politician that liberals claim is the greatest political orator since John F. Kennedy, Obama sure does seem to suck at convincing people of his greatness and the genius of his plans.

    1. Last week (or maybe the one before) I made a very similar point, with the addition that he sucks at convincing people who don’t already agree with him.

    2. Has he convinced anyone that he’s read the law?

      1. He has managed the convince me that he has read the law…

        ‘s title.

    3. And yet he got himself elected. Twice.

      I call that “Good Enough” marketing. Who gives a shit what you do once you’re in office – it’s all about the perks and wealth accumulation at that point!


  8. “But if we *didn’t* spend that money it would have been an even *huger* train wreck!”

  9. spend at least $23 million on public relations and marketing for ObamaCare. And now it says it’s about to spend $8 million more.

    Now you know what Sebelius means by “Simply stated, we will not stand idly by ….”

  10. They need to spend that public money to counteract all the evil Republican money that is brainwashing the public to hate this wonderful, historic, signed-by-a-black-man bill.


    2. Really, it’s amazing what the Democrats have accomplished without any funding from the rich or from corporations.

      1. When your cause is pure and noble you don’t need no evil profit-money.

  11. For several months the DHHS has been calling the Obamacare exchanges the “Health Insurance Marketplace”. Fairly clever name, no? If Obamacare fails, that failure can be pinned on the [ahem] health insurance marketplace, which of course needs more rigging by government to make it work well. But if Obamacare is a success, we will have government to thank for the “Marketplace”, which “is designed to help you find health insurance that fits your budget, with less hassle.”

    And, let’s not forget that “When key parts of the health care law take effect in 2014, there’ll be a new way to get health insurance: the Health Insurance Marketplace.”


  12. Roll that beautiful bean footage! Wow


  13. Probably we should take a moment also to dwell on the phrase “Insurance plans run by private companies” in light of the word “designed”.

    Now, what do we call it when leftwing politics motivates government to design markets and to rig commerce? Of course, it’s crony capitalism, but I’m looking for another word, too. That word is spelled with the letters {a, c, f, i, m, s, s}.

  14. Why is Congress authorizing this spending?

  15. Strangely enough, Pelosi’s assurances haven’t done the job…

  16. Libertarians need to learn to do a better job of marketing the anti-Obamcare case. Often we talk to others in terms that appeal to fellow free market advocates, but don’t get the attention of liberals. They tend to fear corporate influence over politics, so I think we should stress the “crony capitalism” aspects we overlap with their views on. Most haven’t a clue how much the entire healthcare mess.. including Obamacare.. is driven by “crony capitalist” favors to limit competition and drive up prices. This new page focuses on it from that perspective

    it includes a few bits I hadn’t seen elsewhere from anti-Obamacare folks. It is too long to serve as good marketing by itself to outsiders, shorter summaries need to be create, but it provides detailed supporting links and ammunition for libertarians to use when making their case.

    1. Libertarians need to learn to do a better job of marketing the anti-Obamcare case. Often we talk to others in terms that appeal to fellow free market advocates, but don’t get the attention of liberals.

      I usually just point to Massachusetts.

    2. If they really gave a damn about crony capitalism they would be leading investigations into green energy companies snorting up the public monies like free cocaine. No, they are the ones behind the schemes in the first place. Its pointless to communicate with them. Just hand over your wallet and move on.

  17. Gee I thought government spending was cut to the bone what with the “draconian” sequestration and all.

    I wonder how they could scrape up the cash to spend on more Obamacare propaganda.

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