Obamacare Ad Blitz Timed to Coincide With Winter Olympics

Tuesday, 07 Jan 2014 11:11 PM

By Cathy Burke

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An Obamacare advertising blitz will hit some cities during the Winter Olympics next month, two reports said Tuesday.

CNN reported that an unidentified Department of Health and Human Services official said the ads would run in markets with the highest rate of uninsured people, but would not say how much would be spent on the effort.

"We are ramping up education and outreach efforts to drive enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace as part of a sustained, aggressive campaign for the duration of open enrollment," HHS spokeswoman Joanne Peters said.

"HHS is using a mix of grassroots activities and stakeholder engagement to raise awareness, as well as targeted television, radio and digital advertising with an emphasis on reaching young and healthy audiences in particular."

The Obama administration has sent senior administration officials, including HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, to spread the pro-Obamacare message to Houston, Dallas, Tampa, and Miami, Politico reported.

The new ads next month, Politico said, will be aimed at young uninsured people and their families in markets like those — including North Carolina, where incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan is being hit by Republican opponents for her support of Obamacare.

"It just reinforces the reality that Kay Hagan repeatedly broke promises she made about Obamacare to North Carolina voters and will not be able to hide from the unpopular law," National Republican Senate Committee spokesman Brad Dayspring told Politico.

"Mary Landrieu said the 2014 elections are a referendum on Obamacare, and this suggests that the administration believes that."

Hagan's campaign responded that North Carolina voters would vote on her record.

"Kay is focused on common-sense fixes to make this law work better for North Carolina, but her opponents want to go back to a time when insurance companies could drop you when you got sick or charge women more for care," spokeswoman Sadie Weiner told Politico.

"This election isn't about the Affordable Care Act. It will be about Kay's record of standing up for North Carolinians," Weiner said.

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