Barack Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is panicked enough about the collapse of ObamaCare that they have hired a public relations firms at a cost of $8 million to sell the program to the public.
ObamaCare’s main way of delivering health insurance is through people enrolling in the program, but enrollment has been slow, prompting the authors of the law to warn that the marketplace they desired to create is drying up already. The Obamacare healthcare exchanges are supposed to be in place by October, but ObamaCare supporters are acknowledging that HHS probably won’t make the deadline.
An HHS official said the public relations firm Weber Shandwick’s ad campaign “will use a range of communications tactics, with an emphasis on paid media and digital outreach, to make the uninsured aware of the marketplace and the health insurance options available to them.” The official explained, “The initial task order is for about $8 million with the option to increase our investment based on performance.”
Weber Shandwick had already been hired by the state of Maryland for similar reasons in January at a cost of $6 million; the state has said it will have to delay health insurance exchanges for small businesses. Ironically, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has used Maryland as an example of “showing leadership,” as Governor Martin O’Malley has aggressively implemented ObamaCare.
Criticism of the PR hiring came from Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), a member of the congressional health care caucus, who lambasted the Obama Administration for “spending millions of hard-earned in taxpayer dollars on an advertising campaign to tell Americans what’s ‘good for them’ in the flawed and harmful healthcare law… As Americans are harmed because of these disastrous policies, no public relations campaign will convince them otherwise.”