Skip to main content

President George W. Bush signs the Medicare Modernization Act with Congress people watching.
President George W. Bush signs the Medicare Modernization Act,
kicking off a real propaganda campaign. (Reuters)
How much taxpayer money did President George W. Bush request to fund an advertising campaign to tout the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act (MMA), the big giveaway to drug makers and insurance companies? At least $154.3 million. How was that money spent?
[A]n investigation by the Government Accountability Office and HHS’s own inspector General concluded that the federally funded campaign was “misleading” and “may also have illegally used public money to make what in effect were fake news reports about the law that did amount to propaganda.” (emphasis mine)
Why does this matter now? Because the Obama administration has signed a $20 millon contract with a public relations firm to create materials informing and educating people about how to stay healthy and how the Affordable Care Act can help. As Think Progress's Igor Volsky writes, the dimwit Right is having a major hissy fit about it.
– SARAH PALIN: “This is one of the stupidest things I’ve heard coming out of the Obama administration. Not only is this, of course, pending in court, and I think it will be deemed unconstitutional, but this is a propaganda piece, which I think violates many of the procurement laws and other laws applicable to government contracts. This is propaganda. It’s just promoting ‘ObamaCare.’” [Fox News, 5/22/2012]

– SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ): “Outrageous waste of taxpayer $ to promote #Obamacare – ‘HHS signs $20M PR contract to promote healthcare law’ [Twitter, 5/22/2012]

– SEN. ROY BLUNT (R-MO): “It’s unacceptable that Pres Obama intends to waste $20M on the taxpayer’s dime to sell U.S. on unpopular #ObamaCare” [Twitter, 5/22/2012]

– SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): “$20M for marketing #ObamaCare? This is a wasteful & inappropriate use of taxpayer dollars.” [Twitter, 5/22/2012] (emphasis in original)

For the record: fake news reports = propaganda; a "multimedia ad campaign" = advertising. That's a distinction Palin would be too dumb to understand and McCain too duplicitous to acknowledge. Nonetheless, let's just reiterate the facts. What Bush did was probably illegal use of taxpayer money. The GAO said so. What Obama is doing is simple advertising.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed May 23, 2012 at 09:52 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Sylv, DeminNewJ, donna in evanston, eeff, cskendrick, fugwb, ask, boadicea, mkfarkus, Aquarius40, calistan, chimpy, jalbert, kitebro, nupstateny, jhklawyer, Cedwyn, CocoaLove, Getreal1246, cosette, Jujuree, annetteboardman, Sophie Amrain, ybruti, tomjones, TheOrchid, lyvwyr101, Gowrie Gal, Los Diablo, maybeeso in michigan, 3goldens, Unit Zero, UncleCharlie, democracy inaction, Alice Venturi, Brooke In Seattle, eru, Beetwasher, Frank Palmer, kaliope, minidriver, coolbreeze, cybersaur, 417els, hungrycoyote, Russgirl, Krush, HoundDog, kestrel9000, luckydog, gpoutney, chicating, blueoregon, Hedwig, KatHart, Matt Z, rantsposition, millwood, gchaucer2, uciguy30, GeorgeXVIII, JDWolverton, HappyinNM, ScottyUrb, OleHippieChick, Sixty Something, Foundmyvoice, hwmnbn, jalenth, luckylizard, Al Fondy, Old Surgeon, statsone, prettygirlxoxoxo, Ravenstream, ceebee7, greengemini, divineorder, lostinamerica, bobatkinson, Dopeman, Kaneblues, Norm in Chicago, CamillesDad1, DefendOurConstitution, manucpa, MKSinSA, TheOpinionGuy, kevinpdx, stevenwag, Little Flower, Larsstephens, Railfan, bronxcharlie, Mokurai, Tea and Strumpets, Aramis Wyler, Crabby Abbey, DiegoUK, rja, elengul, ericlewis0, fiercefilms, Mac in Maine, theKgirls, Onomastic, annieli, kerflooey, I love OCD, anyname, FarWestGirl, Araguato, OhioNatureMom, Nicci August, marleycat, sethtriggs, BarackStarObama, jack23, Mentatmark, BoulderStevo, ParkRanger, Davui, allergywoman, boredwitnuts, hulibow, RhodaA, OldDragon, CuriousBoston, anodnhajo, angry marmot, rukidingme, DarkStar57, Yonkers Boy, TBug, MartyM, BRog, pittie70, avsp, arizonablue, wasatch, databob, mumtaznepal, lastlegslaststand, Greatwyrm, nomandates, argomd, entrelac, OjaiValleyCali

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site