Super Bowl champs to promote Obamacare
September 4th, 2013
10:06 AM ET
11 months ago

Super Bowl champs to promote Obamacare

Washington (CNN) – While the National Football League decided against teaming up with the Obama administration to promote health care reform, individual teams are free to work with states on educational campaigns for open enrollment.

And this year's Super Bowl champs, the Baltimore Ravens, are doing just that.

Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown announced Tuesday the state-based health insurance marketplace and the NFL team will partner this fall to educate football fans on open enrollment for the state's marketplace once it opens on October 1.

"Research shows that 71 percent of the uninsured population in Maryland have watched, attended or listened to a Ravens game in the past 12 months," the announcement stated. "The partnership will provide Maryland Health Connection with the opportunity to reach and engage fans while making them aware of the new opportunity they have for health coverage beginning this fall through the health insurance marketplace."

The NFL said in June it had "no plans" to work with the Obama administration to promote health care reform after Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said a "variety of sports affiliates" had been "very actively and enthusiastically engaged" with the administration over the idea.

Two top Republicans in the Senate had cautioned the league against teaming up for the project, saying in a letter the NFL would "risk damaging" its nonpartisan reputation by getting involved in a highly divisive issue.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday that while the league as a whole decided not to participate, they're not discouraging individual franchises from taking part.

"These are decisions that I think each club's got to make," he said on CBS' "This Morning." "We as a league decided not to do that but allow our clubs to enter into agreements where they feel it is to be beneficial. The Ravens have made that decision and we support them."

In talking about pairing up with sports affiliates back in June, Sebelius pointed to the example set by the Boston Red Sox, who worked with the commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2007 to urge residents to sign up for the state's health insurance plan. The team used television ads to get out the message, and Fenway Park hosted a health care kiosk at home games and held a themed health care night. They also included informational inserts in their programs.

"We know the Red Sox were incredibly effective in Massachusetts … so it's a logical place to go," Sebelius told reporters Monday.

Republicans have been highly critical of the administration's efforts to spend millions in public awareness campaigns for the health care program. They have especially highlighted signs of ill-preparedness by the administration to launch the individual health care exchanges next year.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, wrote a letter to Sebelius on Tuesday, blasting the health and human services secretary for plans to spend $8.7 million on a media blitz to promote the exchanges.

"Until critical questions can be answered regarding the availability and type of health insurance to be provided by ObamaCare, it is unconscionable to spend taxpayer dollars to promote and advertise ObamaCare plans that have yet to be finalized," he wrote.

The ad buy is scheduled to run from September 30 to December 1 in large markets in Texas, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Arizona, North Carolina, Indiana, Louisiana and Oklahoma, according to information obtained from an ad buyer by Rubio's office.

In order to answer questions and help consumers navigate the new marketplaces, HHS launched 24-hours-a-day consumer call center ready to answer questions in 150 languages, along with the detailed website HealthCare.gov.

In August, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced $67 million in grant money from the health and human services department for groups and individuals that will help Americans shop and enroll in the marketplaces this fall.

Not satisfied with the upcoming roll-out of Obamacare, the Republican National Committee on Wednesday launched a new website, ObamaCareCosts.org, that intends to inform readers with "information they can use to hold Democrats accountable for the disastrous law."

The RNC will release a web video each week of real news stories on the costs of Obamacare, according to a release about the campaign.

"We see it in the news every day now: ObamaCare is killing jobs, hurting our economy, raising premiums, and limiting healthcare access," said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. "It hurts the very people we were told it would help.

"With less than a month to go before this disastrous law begins to take full effect, Democrats bear sole responsibility for ObamaCare's costs," he said.

– CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: Health care
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    I'm a 49er fan , as of today I have more respect for the Baltimore Ravens organization , Super Bowl Champions .

    September 4, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    Some people do not recognize the harm they do.

    September 4, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  3. jinx9to88

    Chairman Reince Priebus. "It hurts the very people we were told it would help." Really Reince? Who did you ask Republicans? I can ask tons of Democrats that says it helps, so what is your point? It may not help everyone but doing nothing doesnt help everyone either, you need to worry about bigger things like the GOP party from exploding from the inside.

    September 4, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  4. Al-NY,NY

    so what will the whining little babies who want only the rich to have health care while the rest struggle under the thumb of Insurance companies do now??? Threaten to boycott games by the Ravens? Hold T-Troll trifold hat rallies holding signs with incorrect spelling up calling them "sohulists"/"marksists?

    September 4, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, wrote a letter to Sebelius on Tuesday, blasting the health and human services secretary for plans to spend $8.7 million on a media blitz to promote the exchanges.
    -------------------–
    While out the other side of Republican mouths come complaints that no one knows or understands the law. What is really wrong with a public information campaign? Meanwhile, conservative PACs and other groups are running their own anti-ACA ads. This is your conservative movement, folks. Double standards and blatant hypocrisies everywhere you look.

    September 4, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Way to go Baltimore Ravens!!
    We appreciate you and your willingness to be a part of the solution by imparting much needed information to those that stand to benefit from "Obamacare" (because he does).

    September 4, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  7. kirk

    Lies, lies, and alas, more lies.the fact they lie about it is a good indicator this will benefit people. I have never seen a group of people lie so much to try to control what you think, never do they tell you to research for yourselves.

    September 4, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  8. wendel

    God forbid that the health care program should work and help many people. What would the republican trolls do then??? I see no plan coming from them.

    September 4, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  9. emskadittle

    So republicans threatened the NFL against working with the Obama Administration?

    September 4, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  10. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Does anybody really think the GOP represents Anybody besides the insurance companies lobby?????

    September 4, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  11. Tony in Maine

    Reince is going to have another tantrum. He'll hold his breath and kick his feet until everyone does what he tells them to do.

    September 4, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  12. S.B. Stein

    The question is why is there a problem promoting a law? I guess that we shouldn't promote anti-drunk driving either then, is that correct? How about promoting those laws and give aways that help businesses get started like loans from the SBA?

    Until the law is repealed or altered significantly, then promote it so that people get some use out of it.

    September 4, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  13. Rudy NYC

    Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Does anybody really think the GOP represents Anybody besides the insurance companies lobby?????
    ------------------
    Yes, the average conservative voter thinks the GOP is doing what's best for America. If it helps the insurance companies, then it helps America. That's how the economy is supposed to work.

    Did I leave out the part about how the "job creators" are supposed to invest their newly discovered higher profit margins in job creation? Except, the same people who advocate "job creator" economics are the first one to tell you that you have to go out and earn it on your own. I think what they're really saying is that you have to out and scam it on your own.

    September 4, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  14. jinx9to88

    You better watch out Ravens, Reince may have his GOP cronies boycott watching you play this year. LMAO Reince is a joke, he gets pissed because he is 15 steps behind this Administration on how to get your policies out to the public. GOP can take a few lessons from this admin. On the other hand no one wants to hear the GOP policies cause they are the same old crappy ones.

    September 4, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Okay Washington Deadskins, er, Redskins what are you waiting for?
    Get on board and help those folks that pay those outrageous ticket prices to see you lose, er, try to win.
    Help your fan base, average working class Americans, that love football and their country. Give back to the community that supports you and has supported you through so many losing years on the field in a manner that won't even impact your bottom line.
    Come on RGIII!! Tell the Redskins to do the right thing!!

    September 4, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Yes, the average conservative voter thinks the GOP is doing what's best for America
    -------------------------------------------------
    Thank God that the Tea infested GOP is insuring that there's only a handful of those left.

    September 4, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  17. Fair is Fair

    "What is really wrong with a public information campaign?"
    ------
    Absolutely nothing wrong at all. That is, provided that it's a truthful information campaign, not political propognda.

    Here's what I mean, Rudy. There are aspects of the law that appeal to lots and lots of people... the removal of lifetime caps, removal of pre-existing condition limitations... you know, the "goodies". What won't be told is that there is cost associated to the "goodies" that actuaries have to factor in when determining premiums. Those costs, for the majority of insureds, will be reflected in heightened premiums. There is no way around it.

    September 4, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  18. emskadittle

    I am not sure how providing more customers to insurance companies hurts them

    September 4, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    Absolutely nothing wrong at all. That is, provided that it's a truthful information campaign, not political propognda.

    Here's what I mean, Rudy. There are aspects of the law that appeal to lots and lots of people... the removal of lifetime caps, removal of pre-existing condition limitations... you know, the "goodies". What won't be told is that there is cost associated to the "goodies" that actuaries have to factor in when determining premiums. Those costs, for the majority of insureds, will be reflected in heightened premiums. There is no way around it.
    -------------
    You are obviously totally ignorant of the ads being put out by right wing groups that are against Obamacare. If you had seen just one then you would understand the hypocrisy behind suggesting that public information ads are political propaganda.

    September 4, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    emskadittle wrote:

    I am not sure how providing more customers to insurance companies hurts them
    ---------------------–
    It doesn't hurt them. In fact, the individual mandate doesn't people. The real problem cannot be spoken in public, but only behind closed doors in the most hushed of tones. [the real issue are mandates on the insurers] The insurers don't like their profits being limited to 80% of premiums that have been collected. The insurers don't like not being able to deny people coverage for a pre-exisitng condition, old age, or any other excuse that fits the bill.

    No, millions of new customers does not hurt the insurers. It's their mandates that are the problem. And so, they bait and switch the argument. The get people angry about false issues like death panels, higher premiums, and the worst fate of all, being required to have some form of health insurance.

    September 4, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  21. Woman In California

    I stopped watching sports in 2008 and I didn't even know the Ravens were the winners of the Super Bowl but I'm glad they're using their voices and time in a very positive way.

    Thank you Baltimore Ravens.

    September 4, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  22. tom l.

    Will they promote the fact that businesses don't have to adhere to the law because President Obama decided what parts of the law he wants to uphold?

    "Hi, I'm Ray Rice, running back for the Baltimore Ravens. If you're individual, the govt has compelled you to buy a product and if you don't you have to pay a fine. However, if you're a business, you can do just what I do as a running back! You can just simply run away from the mandate for one year. That gift was for you, big business! If you're a little guy, then you still have to pay the fine."

    September 4, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  23. emskadittle

    other than boycotts Congress can and has had investigations on professional sports

    September 4, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  24. Faux Scandals

    The Ravens are true champions, like it or not Obamacare is here to stay.

    September 4, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |