Politics

Department of Health buys search engine advertising to promote Obamacare

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter

President Barack Obama’s administration is spending taxpayer dollars on advertisements in search engines like Google and Bing to promote Obamacare.

The administration purchased advertising for web searches on the term Obamacare, a pejorative term that conservatives have coined for the president’s sweeping health care reform. When searching “Obamacare” on Google or Bing, the top result is an advertisement the administration purchased, directing users to healthcare.gov. The Department of Health and Human Services won’t, however, say how much it is spending on this campaign or from where it was appropriated funding for it.

“We are using search terms on several search engines like Yahoo, Google and Bing to help ensure that, when consumers are looking for information online about the Affordable Care Act, they can find what they are looking for,” Health and Human Services spokesperson Jessica Santillo said in an e-mail to The Daily Caller. “We have purchased a range of search terms – everything from ‘affordable health insurance in Ohio’ to ‘pre-existing condition.’ This is just one of those terms.”

This campaign isn’t new to the HHS. The government has been partaking in “educational outreach” programs like this “for years,” Santillo said.

“When we launched our new consumer website healthcare.gov, we wanted to make sure that people were aware of the important new resources that are available to them under the law and on the site – like the insurance finder and the implementation timeline,” Santillo said.