The Obama Administration Hires Anti-Obamacare PR Firm to Promote Obamacare
From the department of what the hell are they thinking:
Porter Novelli, a public relations and lobbying firm, was awarded a $20 million contract from the Obama administration to promote health reform. “The campaign will inform the American people about the many preventive benefits now available to those with Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurance as a result of the Affordable Care Act,” a representative from the Department of Health & Human Services told PR Week, which broke the news.
Porter Novelli, for those who followed the health reform debate, might be an odd choice to help promote the law. As I reported for ThinkProgress in 2009, the global head of Porter Novelli’s healthcare division manufactured a front group designed to kill public support for health reform. Peter Pitts, soon after being hired by Porter Novelli in two years ago, launched various Tea Party and conspiracy-laced attacks on the Affordable Care Act as the legislation made its way through Congress.
Of course, the Obama administration has every right to hire outside help to promote the law. But if Porter Novelli’s prior involvement in spreading industry-funded attacks against the law isn’t a problem, there are other potential conflicts of interest. According a press release, Porter Novelli still maintains a number of healthcare clients, including Bayer, Merck, Johnson & Johnson, Shire Pharmaceuticals, Eisai and Pfizer.
Wrong on so many levels.