Saturday, September 29, 2012

“Modern Family,” “Grey’s Anatomy” to promote Obamacare as storylines

AS America gets closer to the old USSR than ever before in its history.
The California Health Benefit Exchange has already hired 50 employees and is poised to hire 50 more. Construction of the Web portal through which some three million people are expected to buy insurance by 2019, and through which many others will likely enroll in Medicaid, is under way.

This fall, the board will seek bids from insurers to sell plans through the exchange, and it intends to have the portal up and running by next summer, several months before enrollment starts in October 2013.

Realizing that much of the battle will be in the public relations realm, the exchange has poured significant resources into a detailed marketing plan — developed not by state health bureaucrats but by the global marketing powerhouse Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, which has an initial $900,000 contract with the exchange. The Ogilvy plan includes ideas for reaching an uninsured population that speaks dozens of languages and is scattered through 11 media markets: advertising on coffee cup sleeves at community colleges to reach adult students, for example, and at professional soccer matches to reach young Hispanic men.

And Hollywood, an industry whose major players have been supportive of President Obama and his agenda, will be tapped. Plans are being discussed to pitch a reality television show about “the trials and tribulations of families living without medical coverage,” according to the Ogilvy plan. The exchange will also seek to have prime-time television shows, like “Modern Family,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and Univision telenovelas, weave the health care law into their plots.

“I’d like to see 10 of the major TV shows, or telenovelas, have people talking about ‘that health insurance thing,’ ” said Peter V. Lee, the exchange’s executive director. “There are good story lines here.”

Although the exchange will not start advertising until next year, the California Endowment, a foundation that has spent $15 million promoting the law, is running newspaper and television ads, including one in which the television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz exhorts viewers to “get educated, get engaged, get enrolled.” That campaign has targeted Hispanics, who make up more than half of the state’s uninsured population.

Dem Rep. Luis Gutierrez says Obama wins, pushes amnesty for latinos

If Obama wins, watch him quickly push for illegal immigrants to get amnesty.
A prominent Hispanic lawmaker is predicting that President Obama and a weakened Republican Party will strike a deal on immigration next year.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez said he’s received no promises from the White House that Obama would move quickly on immigration reform if reelected in November. But the Illinois Democrat said it’s a lock the president would use a second term to revamp the nation’s immigration laws.

Such changes have been a third rail in Washington for most of the last decade, as President George W. Bush couldn’t overcome Republican opposition to his comprehensive immigration reform plan.

Gutierrez predicted the results of November’s elections would prove a game changer, as the sheer number of Latinos voting against Mitt Romney will force GOP leaders to support reforms for fear of alienating those voters indefinitely.