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Posts Tagged ‘Kathleen Sebelius’

‘Hard’ to Believe There’s Even More #PRFail for the U.S. Government

Kathleen Sebelius

Um? Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, please proceed to the white courtesy phone.

For all those people who think the U.S. Government is “up” to something, they are in more ways than you know. How so? The morning wood is not the gavel used by the Speaker of the House.

According to this legit report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the taxpayer has been overpaying for penis pumps for Medicare recipients.

This is our government, people. And wait until you read this…

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Lead Obamacare Administrator Apologizes For Technical Difficulties, But Did She Do It Right?

tavennerMarilyn Tavenner, the administrator of the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), said the following today before the House of Representatives Ways & Means Committee hearing focused on the mountain of troubles Healthcare.gov has had since launching on the first of this month:

We know that consumers are eager to purchase this coverage. And to the millions of Americans who have attempted to use Healthcare.gov to shop and enroll in healthcare coverage, I want to apologize to you that the website has not worked as well as it should.

She added:

Some have had trouble creating accounts and logging in to the site, while others have received confusing error messages, or had to wait for slow page loads or forms that failed to respond in a timely fashion. The initial consumer experience of HealthCare.gov has not lived up to the expectations of the American people and is not acceptable.

This had the makings of a good apology. But…

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Spinning the ObamaCare Rollout: A Messaging Case Study

Or it WILL be open at some point.

In one of recent history’s most amazing coincidences, the day the federal government “shut down” happens to be the very same day that the statewide health insurance exchanges forming the core of the Affordable Care Act start up. The number of conflicting messages delivered by parties with diametrically opposed goals is enough to make you dizzy.

The big focus so far has been on tech issues. Yesterday Department of Health and Human Services head Kathleen Sebelius told reporters that, because operational glitches are inevitable, the public should “give us the same slack you give Apple”; President Obama made the same argument in a later speech on the shutdown-rollout event. On the other side of the aisle, Fox News debuted a running “ObamaCare glitch watch” thread to chronicle every problem reported by users.

Whatever happens regarding the law, today and the weeks ahead will make for a great case study in future public relations courses because all statements amount to strategic political positioning. It’s almost certainly safe to say that a majority of those logging in and reporting on the exchanges do so with either political or journalistic goals in mind, so here’s a review of competing messages:

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White House Taps Baltimore Ravens to Promote ‘Obamacare’ Enrollment

Don’t worry, your ears are fine—that click-clack you’re hearing is the sound of a thousand conservative bloggers registering their disapproval of Super Bowl champions the Baltimore Ravens.

Today the White House and the state of Maryland announced plans to use the champs to promote the Affordable Care Act, AKA Obamacare. More specifically, the team will work to encourage MD residents to enroll in the statewide health insurance exchanges that serve as one of the central pillars of the law.

The administration first aimed to get the entire National Football League to collaborate on a promotional campaign, but the organization (wisely) chose to sit that one out due, no doubt, to the corrosive power of partisan politics. Individual teams, on the other hand, can do as they choose and the league will support them.

So how will this new partnership work?

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Circle of 6 App Aims to Prevent Sexual Violence

Here is a mobile phone app parents and law enforcement can really support.

Circle of 6 is a safety app that won the White House “Apps Against Abuse” Technology challenge. The challenge was launched by Vice President Joe Biden and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Users identify six contacts they want in their close circle and, with the touch of a button, they are able to give their location and ask for help from that trusted six. The app, co-created by women’s rights activist Nancy Schwartzman, was designed to prevent sexual assault. App functions include the ability to ask for a ride home, ask for an interruption, or get advice on healthy relationships.

The app is marketed toward young adults and has received coverage on MTV, in Marie Claire, Wired, Cosmopolitan, The Frisky, and more. It has a Facebook campaign as well.

Dating violence and sexual assault are widespread problems among young women, with nearly one in five reporting assault while in college.

Obama Administration Launches Healthcare.gov to Provide ‘Unprecedented Transparency’

healthcare.gov.bmp

Healthcare.gov, the administration’s latest effort to communicate health insurance options and other healthcare information to the public, launched today.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said the site, “provides unprecedented transparency into the health care marketplace.”

“This kind of transparency helps create informed consumers which increases competition, reduces prices and improves quality,” she added. We’re curious to hear what you think of the site. Leave your thoughts in the comments.