Obama Admin Spent Tax $ Promoting Obamacare in 2010 Elections

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 19, 2011   |   10:38AM   |   Washington, DC

New documents obtained by the legal group Judicial Watch via a Freedom of Information Act request reveal the Obama administration spent more than $1 million promoting the Obamacare law that funds abortions and presents rationing concerns before the 2012 elections.

The FOIA documents have HHS officials talking about promoting Obamacare in email conversations with The Ogilvy Group, a public relations firm the Obama administration hired to promote Obamacare in the final days before the mid-term elections that resulted in massive pro-life gains in the House and Senate and Republicans taking over the House from pro-abortion Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

As the Washignton Examiner reports today:

On October 25, 2010, HHS New Media Communications Director Julia Eisman sent an email to Ogilvy Senior Vice President Imani Green, reading, “Given the high performance, we’re wondering if we should we consider reallocating resources from the lesser performing words and put more $$ to ‘Obamacare’ – at least for the next 7 days.” Seven days from October 25, 2010, was November 2nd, Election Day.

“There is nothing special about November 2nd other than the fact that it was Election Day,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton told The Examiner. “What possible reason could the Obama HHS have for maximizing their propaganda dollars in the seven days before Election Day other than to elect Democrats? This seems to be a blatant violation of the Hatch Act, among other laws. Congress needs to get on the ball and investigate,” he concluded.

The actions are a potential violation of the Hatch Act, which indicates government officials may not “use [their] official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election…”

In its release about the documents, Judicial Watch says documents from the Obama Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) show “the Obama White House helped coordinate a multimillion dollar taxpayer-funded campaign to use Internet search engines such as Google and Yahoo to drive web traffic to a government website promoting the Affordable Health Care Act (also known as Obamacare). The expressed purpose of this campaign is to increase public support for the president’s health care overhaul among key Obama campaign demographics, specifically Hispanics, blacks, and women.”

The Obama HHS launched a campaign to track Internet searches and to use online search engines such as Google and Yahoo to drive traffic to a government website promoting Obama’s healthcare overhaul. Using “pay-per-click” advertising tools, such as Google Adwords, HHS purposely targeted for influence people searching the term “Obamacare,” a word that has been described as “disparaging” by political agents of the president. One HHS email details:

A few keyword groups continue to be top performers, and have subsequently driven most of the traffic to the campaign websites:

  • Affordable Care Act, including such terms as health care reform, government health insurance, Obamacare, and affordable care act.
  • Health Insurance Group, including terms as health insurance.
  • Health Care Group, including terms as health care.

While other keyword groups have not performed as well, and are not driving significant traffic to the campaign websites:

  • Health Insurance, Health insurance options, Medical Insurance, and Insurance companies

“According to a budget summary prepared by Ogilvy, from October 2010 through February 2011, the Obama administration spent $1,435,009 on these online advertisements alone, including advertising campaigns with Google and Yahoo, almost $300,000 per month,” the group says.

“The Obama administration is using taxpayer dollars to manipulate public opinion regarding his socialist healthcare overhaul while also trying to get a leg up in the 2012 presidential campaign,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The American people should be disturbed that the Obama administration is using taxpayer funds to try to brainwash people simply searching the Internet for information on health care. This Big Brother campaign is underhanded, potentially unlawful, and it must be stopped. As the congressional ‘super-committee’ begins negotiations to cut the deficit, this wasteful Obamacare propaganda campaign is the first place they should look.”

Meanwhile, conservative blogger George Scoville says the new information corroborates his research showing the Obama administration purchased keywords ads on Google promoting Obamacare in the days leading up the 2010 elections.

Last Fall, he “broke the story that Team Obama had started a Google Ad Words campaign around the term “Obamacare,” using paid search to drive people to Healthcare.gov, the government’s propaganda property on the web defending President Obama’s signature legislative accomplishment.”

“The piece was picked up by techPresident, POLITICO, and The Atlantic, and even garnered some television news coverage after catching fire across the web,” he notes. “Even if Congressional oversight manages to haul HHS staffers before a panel, I doubt they’ll ever admit to trying to spin the way people search for information on the web with an Ad Words campaign around “Obamacare” in the run-up to a hotly-contested mid-term election built on repealing Obamacare. But kudos are due to Judicial Watch for finding what appears to be a smoking gun.”