January 1, 2014 is the date Americans must have medical coverage by or pay a penalty under ObamaCare. For a state like California that has an uninsured population of seven million, preparations to spread the word about the exchange are already well under way, including some propaganda planning. Abby Goodnough at the NY Times reports:
Realizing that much of the battle will be in the public relations realm, the exchange has poured significant resources into a detailed marketing plan — developed not by state health bureaucrats but by the global marketing powerhouse Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, which has an initial $900,000 contract with the exchange. The Ogilvy plan includes ideas for reaching an uninsured population that speaks dozens of languages and is scattered through 11 media markets: advertising on coffee cup sleeves at community colleges to reach adult students, for example, and at professional soccer matches to reach young Hispanic men.
And Hollywood, an industry whose major players have been supportive of President Obama and his agenda, will be tapped. Plans are being discussed to pitch a reality television show about “the trials and tribulations of families living without medical coverage,” according to the Ogilvy plan. The exchange will also seek to have prime-time television shows, like “Modern Family,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and Univision telenovelas, weave the health care law into their plots.
“I’d like to see 10 of the major TV shows, or telenovelas, have people talking about ‘that health insurance thing,’ ” said Peter V. Lee, the exchange’s executive director. “There are good story lines here.”
I can think of some other good story lines, too:
- ObamaCare is a looming tax bomb
- ObamaCare will lead to a shortage of doctors
- One in 10 U.S. employers is planning to drop coverage of their workers
- Premiums will increase under ObamaCare
- ObamaCare will cost nearly $2 trillion and leave 30 million uninsured
- A majority of voters still want the ACA repealed
And as for the icing on the cake? Goodnough writes that the federal government has financed the exchange thus far with grants totaling $237 million.Of course, this isn't the first time taxpayers have funded "PR [blitzes]" for ObamaCare (and green energy). Unfortunately, it probably won't be the last either.