Why Obamacare is a marketing fail

The massive confusion about Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) is much worse than I thought. The Kaiser Family Foundation came out with a poll that shows 42% of Americans don’t even know that Obamacare is the law. Seven percent of people think the Supreme Court struck it down and 12% think Congress repealed it.

I understand that there is confusion about the way it will work and who will be affected. But my advice to Americans is turn off the damn TV! Really, we are blessed to live in an age where information about any subject is available with the click of a mouse and people seem to know more about the Kardashians than they do about a health care law that is as important as Social Security or Medicare legislation.

I’m not surprised, however that most Americans said they don’t have enough information to understand how Obamacare will affect them. The Administration should have hired the same marketing firm that did the Super Bowl ads or even the clever ads for Dollar Shave Club. Sure, I get that health care is more complex than a Pepsi ad, but at least doctors and hospitals should have some understanding of it by now. This is a huge marketing fail so far.

According to the Washington Post, the Administration is waiting until the optimal time to roll-out the details. A public awareness campaign is slated for this summer, as open enrollment will begin in October. That seems way too late to me. Helping 30 million Americans understand that they will be buying insurance, making sure there are networks to care for these people, understanding the subsidies that most will get and understanding the various plan options is a huge undertaking and it will be here in 5 months. I would say Obamacare is in a pot of boiling water right now.

It is the private insurers (Cigna, WellPoint, Blue Cross, United Healthcare, etc.) that will have the exchange products to sell. Has anyone ever truly understood their coverage provisions when dealing with these insurance companies? Now imagine three tiers of new insurance products to choose from, with varying co-pays and pricing. Now imagine covering Americans who don’t use computers or have never really dealt with the insurance system. Now imagine different options being offered in each state.

I would say there is a lot of work to be done by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Toni Brayer is an internal medicine physician who blogs at EverythingHealth.

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  • Anthony D

    The scary thing to me about this whole program is that our congressional representatives voted for an open ended extortion agreement. We now know there was never actually a written plan for anyone to read at the time Pelosi was waving some catalog around yelling they had to approve it in order to know what was in it. Now even though the PPACA has been
    signed into law we are seeing more changes to it as each day, month and year goes by.

    If this is really a law that everyone has to comply to why are the
    constant changes not going back to Congress for review and the voting process that is required to change a law?

    • Jess

      That’s what I see as one of the big problems. All they had to sell was “HOPE!” and “CHANGE!” For the details, well “we had to pass the bill to find out what’s in it” and what’s in it keeps getting changed by the week.

      If even the people who wrote the law don’t get it, how can they “sell it” to the dumb masses?

  • Anthony D

    You know things are going to be a disaster when congress passes a bill, knowing it is rife with problems, but says we’ll fix it later. Having NO Obamacare is better than this mess. What a disaster.

  • ninguem

    “…..According to the Washington Post, the Administration is waiting until the optimal time to roll-out the details…..”

    That would be after the 2014 elections.

    • Jess

      Bingo.

  • Filo

    “Possibly it is a reality fail which cannot be reasonably explained because it is so complex that no one in the administration wants to explain it.”

    This was my thought as well as I was read this.

    Wasn’t marketing failure is the same red herring used by the regime when over half of the citizenry rejected this nonsense?

  • petromccrum

    And they still expect ALL of the uninsured to sign up for coverage by January 2014. Exchanges are not up and running until Oct. What a mess!!