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But maybe a new $20 million ad campaign will succeed where previous messaging efforts have failed? Health and Human Services Director Kathleen Sebelius has her fingers crossed: According to PR Week, marketing firm Porter Novelli — the ad wizards that gave us both the USDA food pyramid and the Truth antismoking campaign — has won a $20 million contract to promote the law through a multimedia advertising blitz. The campaign will “inform the American people about the many preventive benefits now available to those with Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurance as a result of the Affordable Care Act,” an HHS official told the trade publication.
You can’t pin this campaign on desperation because it’s required by the health law itself. According to The Hill, “The campaign was mandated by the Affordable Care Act and must describe the importance of prevention while also explaining preventive benefits provided by the healthcare law.” How convenient: The law’s authors set aside $20 million to advertise the law’s benefits during an election year. Don't like the existence of the campaign? Don't blame the folks in the Obama administration: They had to do it.
The contract went to Porter Novelli in what The Hill reports as “a competitive bidding process.” The result of this “competitive bidding process” just coincidentally dropped $20 million into the lap of … a former “on-air surrogate of the Obama for America campaign,”
The story notes that the public relations firm Porter Novelli “won the contract after a competitive bidding process.” Interestingly, the managing director of Porter Novellis’ Washington D.C. office is Catherine “Kiki” McLean — a true “D.C. insider,” according to her bio.
Indeed she is. Among her other accomplishments, McLean’s bio also notes she was “an on-air surrogate for the Obama for America campaign.”
This comes on the heels of the revelation that another HHS contract, this one for almost $6 million, went to another Obama crony, Eric Whitaker, at the University of Chicago medical center at which Michelle Obama used to draw a six-figure salary. Whitaker also turned out to be the crony that allegedly tried to pay off Jeremiah Wright in 2008, according to Wright himself. Why, if these bids didn’t go through a “competitive bid process,” one might be tempted to look at them as payoffs, eh?