WebMD received almost 5 million bucks from feds to promote Obamacare

Thomas Lifson
A performer who pays for good reviews from critics usually isn't any good, and that would seem to be the case for Obamacare, too. Except that it is the taxpayers, not the performer laying out the bribe money, and the magnitude of the bribe dwarfs even the most lavish junkets offered by Hollywood. The Washington Times has a blockbuster exclusive story:

Two months before enrollment began in the Obamacare exchanges, the administration's top health care official heaped praise on WebMD for launching an online resource to help Americans navigate the complex law.

The consumer health care site had the occasional nice thing to say about Obamacare, too. In one article, it predicted doctors might pick up more patients and crowed in an article titled "7 Surprising Things About the Affordable Care Act" that many consumers already had received insurance refunds under the law.

But what neither Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius nor WebMD mentioned at the time was that the company, which millions of Americans regularly read for health news, also stood to earn millions of dollars from a federal contract to teach doctors about Obamacare.

The contract documents, reviewed by The Washington Times, reward WebMD handsomely. For instance, the fee schedule offers dozens of products, including:

  • As much as $126,826 for a single 5,000-word review article on scientific advances in a clinical topic.
  • Up to $68,916 for a four-minute video from an opinion specialist.
  • More than $140,000 for an eight-question online quiz.

WebMD says it doesn't believe it had an obligation to disclose to its broad consumer base its $4.8 million contract with the government. The company says the contract, while awarded to WebMD, went through its Medscape platform, which provides continuing education to doctors in a password-protected portal and is run independently from WebMD's news operation.

Charles Lipson, who brought this to my attention, comments: "This is truly pernicious on multiple levels. This story deserves wide publicity--and WebMD should be shamed again and again.  (Makes me wonder if other news outlets are receiving ACA $$.  Inquiring minds want to know.)"

Anyone who relies on WebMD for impartial information needs to understand this story. I think the website made a colossal mistake, sacrificing its credibility. It has now harnessed itself to the most unpopular healthcare measure in American history.

As for Obamacare and its eponymous sponsor, all the bribes and corruption are for naught. You can teach Hollywood screenwriters to promote Obamacare all you want. You can bribe websites all you want. Americans are aware of the infamy of the lies you have perpetrated.

 

A performer who pays for good reviews from critics usually isn't any good, and that would seem to be the case for Obamacare, too. Except that it is the taxpayers, not the performer laying out the bribe money, and the magnitude of the bribe dwarfs even the most lavish junkets offered by Hollywood. The Washington Times has a blockbuster exclusive story:

Two months before enrollment began in the Obamacare exchanges, the administration's top health care official heaped praise on WebMD for launching an online resource to help Americans navigate the complex law.

The consumer health care site had the occasional nice thing to say about Obamacare, too. In one article, it predicted doctors might pick up more patients and crowed in an article titled "7 Surprising Things About the Affordable Care Act" that many consumers already had received insurance refunds under the law.

But what neither Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius nor WebMD mentioned at the time was that the company, which millions of Americans regularly read for health news, also stood to earn millions of dollars from a federal contract to teach doctors about Obamacare.

The contract documents, reviewed by The Washington Times, reward WebMD handsomely. For instance, the fee schedule offers dozens of products, including:

  • As much as $126,826 for a single 5,000-word review article on scientific advances in a clinical topic.
  • Up to $68,916 for a four-minute video from an opinion specialist.
  • More than $140,000 for an eight-question online quiz.

WebMD says it doesn't believe it had an obligation to disclose to its broad consumer base its $4.8 million contract with the government. The company says the contract, while awarded to WebMD, went through its Medscape platform, which provides continuing education to doctors in a password-protected portal and is run independently from WebMD's news operation.

Charles Lipson, who brought this to my attention, comments: "This is truly pernicious on multiple levels. This story deserves wide publicity--and WebMD should be shamed again and again.  (Makes me wonder if other news outlets are receiving ACA $$.  Inquiring minds want to know.)"

Anyone who relies on WebMD for impartial information needs to understand this story. I think the website made a colossal mistake, sacrificing its credibility. It has now harnessed itself to the most unpopular healthcare measure in American history.

As for Obamacare and its eponymous sponsor, all the bribes and corruption are for naught. You can teach Hollywood screenwriters to promote Obamacare all you want. You can bribe websites all you want. Americans are aware of the infamy of the lies you have perpetrated.