Friday, September 26, 2014

WebMD Has Received $14M to Promote Obamacare.
HHS gets editorial approval over sponsored content

WebMD has received nearly $14 million to promote Obamacare, as part of a government initiative designed to get Americans to turn to “official information” on the health care law. - Washington Free Beacon

The contract amount is much higher than was previously known, new documents revealed on Tuesday.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a “limited source justification” to extend WebMD’s contract through September 2015. The government has obligated a total of $13,932,914 for the “Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Health Care Priorities Educational Initiative” thus far....

When the government’s deal with WebMD was first revealed last November, the contract was reportedly worth $4.8 million....

WebMD devotes a special section to Obamacare on its website, which includes quizzes, videos, and guides to signing up for health insurance on the exchanges.

A “myth or fact” quiz on Obamacare includes answers such as, “In the past, insurance companies didn’t treat men and women equally,” and relates that “young adults” can stay on their parents’ health plans until they are 26.

Another answer describes the federal marketplace as “sort of like an online travel site for booking tickets.” The quiz says that Obamacare will “probably make it harder for people to find a doctor,” though the law “does try to help” the doctor shortage....

“As with any contract with a government agency, for any funded programs, WebMD must adhere to the federal government’s content clearance policy and requirements,” he said. “In developing funded content for CMS or any other federal agency, WebMD adheres to this policy, which requires government agencies to review and approve materials before they are made available in the public domain.”