Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Taxpayers Funding More Obamacare Insanity

In the past day, much has been made about the news that the Administration has engaged a PR firm with a $20 million contract designed to promote Obamacare’s preventive “benefits.”  However, the story that, at a time of trillion-dollar deficits, HHS would use additional dollars to promote their unpopular health care law is not new.  After all, this Administration has spent taxpayers’ money on:

  • $26 million in grants to Ogilvy Public Relations included in the “stimulus” to establish a “Publicity Center.”
  • $18 million to send a mailing to seniors purportedly touting the “benefits” of Obamacare to seniors.  The Government Accountability Office found that the mailer – which was NOT reviewed or approved by the non-partisan Medicare actuary for its accuracy – “overstates some of [the law’s] benefits” and “presents a picture of [the law] that is not universally shared.”
  • $3 million in taxpayer funds to run an ad campaign in which Andy Griffith took on the role of “pitching President Barack Obama’s health care law to seniors.”  The non-partisan factcheck.org concluded that the ads used “weasel words” to mislead seniors about the impact of the health care law.
  • Millions more in taxpayer funds to fund 4 million postcards promoting Obamacare’s small business tax credit – which a GAO report released yesterday said was ineffective and infrequently used.
  • Contracts to establish a program promoting the CLASS Act – contracts published even after Secretary Sebelius admitted the CLASS Act was “totally unsustainable,” but before HHS decided not to implement the program.

Given this record, one need only add two additional points.  The first is the trend line for Obamacare’s (un)popularity as the Administration continued to roll out these publicity initiatives.  The second is the definition of insanity attributed to Albert Einstein – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.