The Conversation

Selling Obamacare in California

In response to ObamaCare goes down the toilet:

Your post reminds me that I wrote about the effort to sell Obamacare in California last December. According to the 127 page comprehensive marketing and outreach work plan, that effort involved lots of celebrities:

A number of popular television programs and personalities such as Grey’s Anatomy, Modern Family, the Biggest Loser, Dr. Oz and others will be approached and pitched to incorporate story lines or mentions of health care reform that would reinforce campaign messages and would air in Phases III – VII (August 2013 – December 2015 timeframe). In addition, we would explore approaching select reality television producers to create a new reality television program revealing the trials and tribulations of families living without medical coverage.

In addition, the plan included making targeted appeals to ethnic groups:

For instance, outreach targeting African Americans will include a bus tour called "The Groove Mobile" which will visit public housing to "spread the gospel" of health exchanges. The Groove Mobile's tour will then be "pitched to local news outlets as well as Black Entertainment Television."

Meanwhile, the plan to reach Asians with the message of health exchanges may include outreach at Karaoke bars or sponsoring a booth at Hot Import Nights, a car show that the document identifies as part of the "Asian Import Car Club Scene."

I suspect that if a Republican candidate or policy was marketed using either of these approaches it would have become a front page outrage. Needless to say it did not.

The cost of the California marketing plan was estimated to be $90 million.


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