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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Social Media and the Affordable Care Act

The Obama administration is ramping up a plan to use the federal government’s social media accounts and websites to help convince millions of Americans, including those who “mistrust government,” to sign up for health insurance through Obamacare, according to a confidential administration presentation obtained by BuzzFeed.
The White House last Tuesdayhosted government agency social media directors and Chief Technology Officers in a summit aimed at coordinating communications around a central administration goal of President Obama’s second term: persuading people without health insurance to sign up for it. The meeting was led by Tara McGuinness, the White House communications pointperson on Obamacare implementation. The document obtained by BuzzFeed is a handout authored by the Department of Health and Human Service’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and its authenticity was confirmed by the White House.
Leveraging the government’s hundreds of social media accounts is part of a massive campaign-like operation to put Obamacare front-and-center in the minds of millions of Americans the White House needs to sign up for insurance in order to make the the health care law work. The White House bristles at the comparison to a political campaign, saying that similar efforts were mounted when the government rolled out Medicare Part D under George W. Bush. The White House also stresses that a main online focus will be on placing information about Obamacare on websites frequented by targeted groups.
 The target audience for social will be young people who use Facebook and Twitter.