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Posts Tagged ‘obamacare’

Sen. Ted Cruz’ (Should-Be-Former) Staffer Connects Ebola and Obamacare via Twitter

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DERP DERP DERP

In the words of an ancient philosopher, “Let it go!

Ebola is gravely serious. We just cleared the scare in North Texas, and now Ebola has made its way to New York. This isn’t time for jokey jokes.

Yet, that doesn’t stop political satirists — otherwise known as politicians’ staffers — from getting 15 minutes of fame on the improv stage. Latest to the stand-up spotlight is Nick Muzin, deputy chief of staff for Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas). His tactic: tweet about a connection between Ebola and Obamacare.

There’s never a rotten tomato to throw when you need one.

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Twitter Is Your New Healthcare Customer Service Line

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Have a great day—and don’t forget to @ us when you tell your 235 followers how much we suck!

The fact that many brands use Twitter for customer service is nothing new; we covered a few of the best feeds last year, and many of them were created strictly to engage with customers. If you check out our listicle you’ll notice that most of the ones we included were consumer brands like Nike, Xbox, Amazon, etc.

But today ProPublica posted a must-read story on how Twitter became the new go-to customer service tool for the healthcare industry—and we thought it worthy of debate.

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Hospital ER Nurses Knew This Was Going to Happen Someday

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Um, Healthcare? Pick up the white courtesy phone.

Every had a terrible accident, or have a loved one call in the middle of the night with some horrifying news, and you had to rush over to the nearest hospital?

Almost every time this happens: people have to wait in the ER for hours.

Ofttimes, this wait makes what airplanes do on the tarmac while your smartphone battery depletes to nothing seem quick. The wait is awful. Sitting there with uncertainty about what lies ahead. No one seems to really care because you may as well be known as “number 84.” And from your perspective, there seems to no rush.

Surely, someone has said fuming with frustration, “This wait is killing me!” Whelp, it finally did… 

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Obamacare Struggles Make for a Perfect Communications Case Study

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If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got somewhere else to be…

You may be shocked to learn that Politico posted something interesting today. Inflammatory “PR firms cash in on health rollout woes” headline aside, the story makes a good point: the Affordable Care Act launch is a perfect encapsulation of the challenges facing communicators in the digital era.

Multiple firms have capitalized on this fact by turning it into a case study; the myriad lessons are obvious after the jump.

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And Now Obamacare is to Blame for Bad Driving

DOT_message“The scourge of healthcare,” “A death spiral for all Americans,” “The beginning of the end” and “Socialism’s entry into the USA.”

These have been in the news as lovingly euphemisms for the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as “Obamacare.” It’s no secret the name, the idea and even the damn website isn’t exactly winning the White House many brownie points with the voting public.

And with this report via Forbes from the Manhattan Institute, we have another reason why people hate it: “In the average state, Obamacare will increase underlying premiums by 41 percent.” Makes so mad you could run someone off the road, huh?

Whelp, funny you say that…

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New Unofficial Obamacare Promo Confuses the Internet

When we first saw the latest “Thanks Obamacare” promo, we thought that it had to be a joke:

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If we’d been tasked with creating a visual ad to mock the Affordable Care Act, it would have looked something like this one: stereotypical party girl empowered to have a one-night stand with a total bro. Based on the social media response, many others felt the same way.

Yet, as we learned from the “brosurance” spots a couple of weeks ago, Do You Got Insurance is a real project “created by the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and ProgressNow Colorado Education to educate everyone about the benefits of the Affordable Care Act.”

Is it? We could have sworn that the point of spots like this one and this one and this one was to irritate political opponents, not to make the law more popular. And they’re working:

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GOP Spot Casts ‘Private Sector’ As Apple and ‘ObamaCare’ As PC

We never saw the Affordable Care Act as a public vs. private thing, because privately owned and run insurance companies are going to make out quite well in the end. But that’s not the point these guys want to make:

The Republican National Committee is right to jump on the content train by running this clip on The Daily Show tonight, but the production values are middling and the message is muddled beyond “government bad, business good”. Sure, the DMV sucks, but does anyone really think that “private sector” companies automatically ace customer service? Have you ever called Time Warner Cable?

And let’s be honest, since we’re speaking in the broadest possible generalizations here: which dude looks like a bigger techie to you?

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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Suzanne Somers Didn’t Fact Check Her WSJ Healthcare Op-Ed

"Sex And The City 2" New York Premiere - ArrivalsBlog world secret: typos are not a huge deal; we make like five of them every day. Errors in a high-profile guest article, however, will seriously damage your credibility. This week Chrissy from Three’s Company took a break from bragging about how many times she has sex with her 77-year-old husband every day to write an anti-ObamaCare piece for the Wall Street Journal‘s new “experts” feature under the super-scary headline “The Affordable Care Act Is a Socialist Ponzi Scheme.

She made the usual arguments about how this convoluted attempt to make healthcare more accessible would limit consumer choice and lead to dependence on the state before dropping two quotes that somehow escaped her editors:

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“Widely disputed” means the first quote has been used and corrected repeatedly over the past 60 years.

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It’s Damage Control Time for the ObamaCare Launch

HHS_HealthCare_MOBILE_BILLBOARDYou might have missed this story amidst the embarrassing failure of the “destroy the government” movement, but there have been quite a few technical glitches related to Healthcare.gov, the homepage of the only government program that could ever possibly be “worse than slavery” (these folks with their messaging). So yesterday the team that created the very thing those guys hate most decided to start cleaning up after their own embarrassing failure.

A report from the Washington Times asserts that, among other things, federal officials only tested the site for four to six days when they should have done so for four to six months—and that organizational failures left many anxious Americans unable to register for insurance on Healthcare.gov.

In a formal blog post, the Department of Health and Human Services responded by admitting that “The initial consumer experience of HealthCare.gov has not lived up to the expectations of the American people” thanks to error messages, slow-loading pages, and all the things that you’d expect from a dial-up Yahoo account circa 1998. The post highlights elements of the “product” that are working, notes improvements and promises that a coming “tech surge” will help everyone use that site as it was meant to be used.

Obama probably could have written the post himself if he weren’t busy giving a speech to the press today in order to defend and explain his signature project for the millionth time: he said that there’s “no sugar-coating“ the “unacceptable” tech issues, so someone’s been listening. Then this happened:

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