As President Barack Obama’s health care law moves from theory to reality in the coming months, the total amount to be spent nationally on publicity, marketing and advertising will be at least $684 million, according to data compiled The Associated Press from federal and state sources. The Obama administration and many states are launching campaigns this summer to get the word out before enrollment for new benefits begins in October, notes an AP/Real Clear Politics story.
About 16% of Americans are uninsured, but despite years of political debate and media attention, more than three-quarters of them still know little about the law known as “Obamacare,” according to recent surveys.
The targets are mostly the working poor, young people who are disengaged, or those who gave up their insurance because of the cost. Three-quarters are white. 86% have a high school education or less. Together they make up a blind spot in the nation’s health care system.
In the GOP states, community groups with federal grants will lead the effort. Private companies from Walgreens to Cosmopolitan magazine have launched their own educational campaigns.
Ads based on research about the uninsured will soon start popping up on radio, TV and social media. Grassroots organizers are recruiting their pastors, barbers and mothers and arming them with carefully worded messages. In some neighborhoods, volunteers will go door-to-door, said the story.
The campaign already underway in Colorado demonstrates the search for an effective message. TV spots show people being magically transformed into champions. One minute they’re shopping for health insurance on a computer, the next they’re winning at a horse race, in a casino or at the World Series with champagne corks flying. The slogan: “When health insurance companies compete, the only winner is you.”