Tom Fitton, BigGovernment.com
The American people do not support Obamacare. This much we know. So I’m willing to bet they’re going to be furious when they learn that the Obama Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) wants to spend as much as $200 million on a propaganda campaign to convince them they’re wrong about the president’s socialist health care overhaul.
Last week Judicial Watch obtained documents from HHS that provide new details on a massive, taxpayer-funded, multimedia campaign designed to promote the Affordable Health Care Act (also known as Obamacare) and other HHS policy initiatives (such as the anti-obesity — or food control — campaign that is a vanity project of Michelle Obama). According to the records, which we obtained through a March 23, 2011, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, the total cost of this campaign, which notably targets Obama’s electoral coalition, could reach as much as $200 million over the next five years!
The following are highlights from the documents, which you can read in full here:
- An April 27, 2010, Department of Health and Human Services Acquisition Plan entitled “National Multimedia & Education Campaign & Grassroots Outreach,” details a comprehensive five-year communications program covering a variety of HHS policy initiatives, including “health care reform.”
•According to a section of the Acquisition Plan entitled, “Independent Government Cost Estimate,” the Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs (ASPA) states: “ASPA is unable to provide a definitive government cost estimate. Campaigns vary is [sic] size and scope. Some campaigns involve radio, some TV, and some print. Other campaigns may involve all of those avenues plus on ground events, website, bus tours, etc.” However, “ASPA is letting this contract in order [to] produce three to four campaigns per year through the life-cycle of the contract. We are requesting a contract with a $200,000,000 maximum.”
- According to a subsequent March 14, 2011, contract included among the documents, HHS hired The Ogilvy Group “to provide services to design, develop, and execute a multiplatform educational media campaign to promote the new website Healthcare.gov, including the new Spanish language version of the website.” The total amount of the contract awarded was: $3,998,928.
- The Ogilvy contract “task order” describes the purpose of the Healthcare.gov website: “To accompany such a monumental piece of legislation [The Affordable Health Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare], the law charged the Department of Health and Human Services with the creation of a website to aide [sic] Americans about the health insurance coverage options available to them.” (U.S. Senator Charles Grassley has deemed the HHS online program “state-sponsored propaganda.”)
- The Ogilvy contract also describes the “audiences” that will receive “targeted messaging” during the campaign: “Hispanic Americans, African Americans, Young People, Women/Mothers,” all considered key target demographics for the Obama reelection campaign.
•According to the Ogilvy contract, HHS sought to receive “media training” in the following areas, among others: “controlling your message,” “handling hostile interviews,” “artful repetition,” “identifying loaded questions” and “being persuasive.”
And now for the really creepy part…