Families USA Receives $1 Million Grant to Tell Pro-ObamaCare Stories

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Jim Young / Reuters

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) signs a copy of the bill for Ron Pollack after the Senate approved a package of changes to President Barack Obama's landmark healthcare overhaul and sent the bill to the House of Representatives for final passage in Washington, March 25, 2010.

Families USA has received a $1 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which it will use to collect and distribute to the media personal stories of those who have benefited from the new health insurance exchange rolled out by the Obama Administration October 1. The announcement is good news for the President, who has been widely criticized for the horrible launch of the online marketplace healthcare.gov.

“The purpose is to bridge the information gap for people who can significantly benefit from the Affordable Care Act,” Ron Pollack, the Executive Director of Families USA, tells TIME. “Too many people who can benefit enormously are unaware of it.”

Families USA, a national nonpartisan nonprofit organization that calls itself “The Voice for Health Care Consumers,” has been helping journalists find health care stories for decades. They found stories before the ACA was enacted in 2010 to show how the bill could prove beneficial, and have since collected stories of beneficiaries, like the young adult who can now stay on their parents’ health care plan and the consumer with a pre-existing condition who now can buy insurance.

The unsolicited donation will “significantly expand” the story bank, which is already over 950 strong, Pollack says, and allow the organization and its partner GMMB, a communications firm, to hire six new positions in Washington, DC. Pollack says that Families USA will be providing new stories for the media and others who are interested “before the month is over.” “We have a bunch of stories that are in the hopper for vetting,” adds Pollack.

Only in recent months has the insurance exchange registered on the American public’s radar. In early September, barely half (51%) knew that exchanges were going to be available in their state; that has risen to nearly two-thirds (65%), according to a Pew poll released this week. The cost of the website is also unknown: reports have suggested that the cost to taxpayers is anywhere from $70 million to over $350 million.

What is known is that the website’s software has had serious problems, from failing to properly set up user accounts to sending duplicate enrollee information to health insurers. The Obama Administration said Wednesday night that it will give Americans who buy health insurance through the new online marketplace an extra six weeks to obtain coverage before they incur a penalty, which is $95 per adult, or 1% of family income, whichever is greater. Those who buy coverage through the exchange will have until March 31, instead of February 15, to sign up for a plan.

Contractors who helped build and service healthcare.gov were grilled Thursday before a House committee. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will testify October 30 before the same House panel.

The federally run health exchange has been criticized for more than just the website. On Thursday the New York Times ran a front-page story on how the exchanges are not encouraging competition in rural areas, leading to the Affordable Care Act’s uneven effect on the cost of insurance premiums. Earlier in the week the Washington Post ran a front-page story on how the network of nonprofit insurance companies, also created to foster competition and lower costs, was in trouble in part due to a lack of government funding.

But for now, Pollack and the media are mostly focused on the tarnished website.

“Hopefully when it gets fixed we’ll have a whole lot more stories to vet,” said Pollack, who has talked with officials from the White House and HHS, including Secretary Sebelius, about the rollout. “The pool of people that we can work with is smaller than it otherwise would be, but we’re expecting that will grow significantly in the weeks ahead” as the problems are fixed, said Pollack.

65 comments
Uma
Uma

Golly gee whiz, RWF is being so generous! I wonder though, what's in it for them? If somebody researched RWF, what connections would be forthcoming? Let's say, for instance, RWF was connected with, oh say, PFIZER big Pharma co. What would a big Pharma company hope to gain from FORCED health care? It doesn't make sense. It would be like trying FORCE smokers to use Chantix to quit smoking or lose their jobs & homes! That wouldn't be nice, or healthy either one. Why, I'd bet that RWF aka Phizer is even lobbying via changelabsolutions to raise taxes and ban not only smoking but the NICOTINE as well. But, nicotine is beneficial! With nicotine from eCigs & Swedish Snus, (safer alternatives to smoking), people don't need big Pharmas products. Not their Pills for ADHD, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, colitis cancer, and so many more. Why, nicotine helps to calm & to focus, enhances cognitive skills and more! Surely big Pharma and forced health care would be happy for Free Market products. Wouldn't they? Gee, I see a plan for better health alright, but is it's not the health of the people I'm seeing, it's the health of a giant corporation? Oh my.

CliffordJohnsen
CliffordJohnsen

This grant money should go to the people who fell though the cracks in Obamacare system Because they need it more than ever than before. I'm on SSDI But I did go to see what health insurance would cost me and I was told $1,400 a month But I bring only 1,100 So I would be one of those who fall though Obamacare. And would be fined for not have insurance. So Were would you live and what food would you eat you will be on the street living under some newspapers and eat off of trash cans And the US government Trying To put you in jail for not having insurance and for not paying your Fine to the US government. So The USA is not a free country any more Thank you Obama for making the US a land of the rich only.

devan95
devan95

Families USA "nonpartisan?" Not even close! And don't wait for the IRS to investigate their nonprofit status........

binthinkin
binthinkin

Obama Lied, Healthcare Died. (period!)

RichardEinstein
RichardEinstein

There is no doubt this is the most expensive website ever made.  Probably by at least 1000 times.


This was nothing but another theft of taxpayer funds by the Illegal Alien in Chief.  Maybe Obama can give one of his buddies a billion to fix it so it will actually work at ripping off Americans for the zionists who created the entire healthcare scam.

paulejb
paulejb

"Families USA Receives $1 Million Grant to Tell Pro-ObamaCare Stories"

Were the Brothers Grimm not available? What about Hans Christian Andersen?

kenkatzen
kenkatzen

First Lady Michelle Obama’s Princeton classmate is a senior vice president at CGI Federal

CGI Federal is the company that earned the no-bid contract to build the $394 million Obamacare enrollment website at Healthcare.gov. CGI Federal is the U.S. arm of a Canadian company.

George Schindler, the president for U.S. and Canada of the Canadian-based CGI Group, CGI Federal’s parent company, became an OBAMA 2012 CAMPAIGN DONOR after his company gained the Obamacare website contract.

IMAGINE THE PRESIDENT GIVING SOMEONE A CONTACT for supporting him?

What will he think of next?

http://dailycaller.com/2013/10/25/michelle-obamas-princeton-classmate-is-executive-at-company-that-built-obamacare-website/#ixzz2iqEwe6Xw

repchicksrock
repchicksrock

Seriously?  We have non-profits out there trying to feed, cloth and shelter homeless or low-income children and this foundation just gave a million dollars to collect stories.  This is liberalism at it's finest.

cristo52
cristo52

Christ, the Obama conspiracy is getting enormous.

guittadabe
guittadabe

(Families USA, a national nonpartisan nonprofit organization, ... found stories before the ACA was enacted in 2010 to show how the bill could prove beneficial...)

Only the Leftist Time could describe someone who is being paid to find propaganda to benefit Democrats "nonpartisan".

Yoshi
Yoshi

Quite the advertising campaign, eh? If it's so great, it should sell itself. Here's to hoping!

paulejb
paulejb

@kenkatzen 

Perhaps that's why Healthcare.gov is about as effective as Michelle's school lunch menus.

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

@repchicksrock Actually using stories of people getting medical care, some for the first time, is right out of the Bible.  If they are sick, everything else we do is a waste.  And as Right-wingers are fond of telling us about the Kochs, it is THEIR money and they can do with it what they wish.  Healthy children means a healthier America against all of the efforts of the Republicans to destroy the safety net.

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

@guittadabe Aiding families  "to benefit Democrats" is certainly taking a stand against people hearing about the opportunities to get their families healthier.  What's your problem with healthy people??

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

@Yoshi Well, we have had the Kochs and affiliated haters spending $400 million dollars in a series of lying commercials that have mislead the American people.  I guess, telling the truth is a "plot"?  The real plot is the hatred that the right has for the American people, or at least people who aren't just like them-old, white and hateful!

aztecian
aztecian

@Yoshi it is..and once the site is fixed, things will never be the same for the republiKKKans.  they will never win elections in critical races and they know it.  this is why they're fighting tooth and nail to stop it.  the fight will be over soon.

aztecian
aztecian

@reallife this story is b.s.  hanity had to pay a years salary to get her on his lopsided radio show.

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

@JohnDavidDeatherage The Kochs spent $400 million in negative ads against the ACA over the past few years.  That was okay with you but someone spending their money to have real people tell their stories is propaganda?  Get real!

barneydidit
barneydidit

@JohnDavidDeatherage Exactly! Democrats should instead set up an entire media outlet devoted to 24 hours a day of non-stop talking points, reinforced with sound bytes from people that have been selected solely because of their political affiliation, with no regard whatsoever to their credibility or level of expertise. They could call it "Badger News". 

danadaddee
danadaddee

@barneydidit @kenkatzen what's your point barney?  halliburton was the only company capable of providing the service, and is irrelevant to the conversation, ecept to attempt to defend the indefensible behavior of the current administration...

child like behavior to do that dude.

no excuse for this site to be so screwed up... none whatsoever, it is absolute cronyism and corruption and inefficiency in govt.


Liberty66
Liberty66

@ARTRaveler @repchicksrock If you think Obamacare is a safety net then you are simply delusional.  Just think it through;  you are going to get better coverage for less money.  Really?  A child could see that this is simply not feasible.  A small percentage of people will get coverage that could not before.  A huge percentage will pay more for plans that cover things they don't even want or offer things they cannot use. Never mind forcing religious groups to cover procedures and medications that conflict with their religious beliefs.  The Kochs - please!  Middle class Americans are being financially raped by Obamacare.  Would you go up to your healthy young neighbor and ask them to pay for your health costs for a chronic medical condition?  Well, that's exactly what you're advocating.  Still, I suppose you're good with that because liberals are all about instructing people about what they can and can't have and how much of their income they deserve to keep etc etc etc. ad nauseum.  Nobody wants people to go without decent healthcare but Obamacare is a disaster and is creating more problems than it is solving.

repchicksrock
repchicksrock

@ARTRaveler @repchicksrock Really?  You have convinced yourself this is for the good of the people.  You do understand that they are paying this agency to tell stories.  Which means they will use that $1milllion dollars to pay people to tell their story.

I'm sorry....if I had a preexisting condition and I couldn't get health care coverage and finally I could ....I would be shouting my happiness for all to hear.  However these people are going to get paid to tell those stories.  What a sham.

guittadabe
guittadabe

@ARTRaveler @guittadabe  

I would appreciate it if you stop your overt dishonesty of putting words in my mouth.  I'd love for you to find in my one sentence where I said I had a problem with healthy people.  


If you think we'll allow you to say that being against Obamacare is against having citizens being in good health, good luck with that.  Whatever you could get away with before the law was passed is long gone.  The true effects of the law are open to everybody to see, hence the need for propaganda.  Heck, if the law was so beneficial, why would the Obama administration itself keep putting off big chunks of the law until after his re-election, and now after the 2014 mid-term?

danadaddee
danadaddee

@ARTRaveler @Yoshi same crap the other way, with soros and their ilk.  you think you have a monopoly on truth?


hardly.

Yoshi
Yoshi

@aztecian @Yoshi Possibly, but I'd rather NOT underestimate the American voter's appetite for insanity.

guittadabe
guittadabe

@ARTRaveler @JohnDavidDeatherage  

Nobody wants anybody to not spend their own money to promote their political message.  Oh, no, wait...the liberals do.  They're the only ones who keep coming up with ways to "limit money in politics" and going all the way to using the IRS to do so...but only to muzzle one side of the political spectrum.  


The Left keep bringing up the Koch Brothers, but forget that the top 10 political givers give to Democrats (most of them are Unions).  So the biggest problem you have with the Koch Brothers is that you don't have a 100% monopoly on political contributions, just like the problem you have with FoxNews, because it is the ONLY one of the major news channels to lean right instead of left.  You guys are true fascists who just don't like competition.

JohnDavidDeatherage
JohnDavidDeatherage

@PaulDirks @JohnDavidDeatherage Do you think not paying for propaganda is not a limit on free speech?  Would the Obama Admin pay them if they had bad things to say about ACA?  Of course not!  It's paid for propaganda.

guittadabe
guittadabe

@ARTRaveler @Liberty66 @repchicksrock  

"Liberals aren't about "instructing" but making available so that people can do what they need to do."

Are you a pathological liar or just this ignorant?  Obamacare increased premiums for the young and healthy, and if they don't like to pay for something they were not willing to pay for before it got more expensive, they get assessed a penalty enforced for the IRS, a penalty that starts small but grows significantly over the next couple of years.  Forget about "instructing", the type of micromanagement that Democrats routinely advocate runs contrary to human incentives, and as such, has to involve the awesome coercive power of the government.  


You can't get much more coercive than assessing a penalty for NOT paying for a product, and enforcing the rule using the IRS.  


I guess it depends on our definition of "making available", right Mr. Fascist?

binthinkin
binthinkin

ARTRaveler; instead of conjecture and bigoted ideology, maybe look at some FACTS; 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan needed a lung transplant and Obamacare chief Sebelius said" NO, some people live and others die".  Sarah had to SUE to get doctor recommended healthcare instead of politician diagnosed judgments.   So tell me...exactly how did Obamacare socialized medicine provide her "safet ynet"?

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

@Liberty66 @ARTRaveler @repchicksrock Your pointed hat is beginning to fall over. The Tea Party healthcare plan is when you have a chronic disease, then go and die.  Their actions show no concerns for people.  Just like the Republican "healthcare plan".  Liberals aren't about "instructing" but making available so that people can do what they need to do.  The Republican Tea Pot brain program is all glory to corporations and to hell with their employees and everyone else.  You totyal guide is to make every company as employee-oriented as Walmart.  BTW, ever see any employees in any of their stores smiling.  I haven't seen 1 in 16 years of going there about once a week for something that Kroger can't get.

guittadabe
guittadabe

@shepherdwong @repchicksrock  

"Maybe you don't have to counter lying smear campaigns by prominent politicians, funded by multi-billionaire PSYCHOPATHS like the Koch brothers"


I'm relieved that YOU don't go down to that smearing low like those PSYCHOPATHS! LOL!  Talk about projecting! 

danadaddee
danadaddee

@shepherdwong @repchicksrock no, only have to deal with the same crap funded by soros...

you don't get that this gent is exactly the same as you, do you?

the divisiveness of this country is almost absolute, I fear...


everybody being self righteous and making others wrong... sad sad place, this country.


shepherdwong
shepherdwong

@repchicksrock

"Good stories about good things are free no matter how you want to paint it."

True. But if a tree falls in the forest and there's no one there to hear it... Why can't you wrap your stubborn, angst-ridden, little head around the fact that the grant is for disseminating those stories? No painting required.

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

@repchicksrock "I can tell the success stories of my agency for less than $100,000 per year and that includes all salaries designated to the project for our marketing department and all cost of creating the piece."

Good for you. Maybe you don't have to counter lying smear campaigns by prominent politicians, funded by multi-billionaire psychopaths like the Koch brothers and reach something like 30 million uninsured Americans. Anyway, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation decided it was worth $1million to collect and distribute the truth to the public, it's their money to spend and your original complaint that the money was being spent on people to tell their story is still full of sh!t.

repchicksrock
repchicksrock

@shepherdwong @repchicksrockTypical liberal... you trying to say I have poor reading comprehension skills does not portray you as the smart one around here.

 The first paragraph states:  Families USA has received a $1 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which it will use to collect and distribute to the media personal stories of those who have benefited from the new health insurance exchange rolled out by the Obama Administration October 1. The announcement is good news for the President, who has been widely criticized for the horrible launch of the online marketplace healthcare.gov.


You don't need a million bucks to retrieve success stories and distribute them to the media.  If it's a true success story then you don't need a penny to tell the media.  I can tell the success stories of my agency for less than $100,000 per year and that includes all salaries designated to the project for our marketing department and all cost of creating the piece. 

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

@repchicksrock "...my problem lies with spending money to get people to tell their stories."

I think your problem is unfounded political bias leading to poor reading comprehension and the invention of facts. Nowhere in the post above does it say anything about paying people to tell their stories.

repchicksrock
repchicksrock

@shepherdwong @repchicksrock Once again.... you don't have to PAY for the stories.  I agree you have to have a good marketing plan/department however by no means do you have to pay for the good outcomes or the stories.  You can preach all you want.  


I have no problem spending money for marketing... my problem lies with spending money to get people to tell their stories.  That my dear is a freebee!

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

@repchicksrock  "I am the CEO for a non-profit organization.  I don't have to pay ANYONE to tell their happy stories of how our organization and what we do has touched, helped or improved their personal lives."

If you were really the CEO of a successful non-profit, you would know that it costs money to publicize those stories to news outlets and the public. I ran the creative department for a successful non-profit with a half-million per year budget just for print. And that didn't include the printing and mailing (which cost a great deal more), just the staff and resources to gather content (particularly client stories) and make printer files.

repchicksrock
repchicksrock

@barneydidit @repchicksrock @ARTRaveler   Oh please stop it with the BS.  I'm sorry you don't need a million bucks to tell the stories of how well something is working.  


I love when the liberals bring up Fox News.  Oh please you didn't just do that?

barneydidit
barneydidit

@repchicksrock @ARTRaveler Who do they tell those stories to repchick? It's the gathering and publishing of the stories FamiliesUSA is collecting that cost the most money, and coincidentally, does the most good. I can tell people all day that I got health insurance finally because of Obamacare, but if I can't get that message outside of my own little sphere of influence, there's still going to be millions of Fox News viewers that won't know that my interaction with Obamacare was successful. 

repchicksrock
repchicksrock

@ARTRaveler @repchicksrock I'm sorry I'm just not buying it.  I am the CEO for a non-profit organization.  I don't have to pay ANYONE to tell their happy stories of how our organization and what we do has touched, helped or improved their personal lives.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Mission is to improve the health and healthcare of Americans.  Frankly buying peoples stories is not meeting their mission.

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

@repchicksrock @ARTRaveler No, I convinced myself that it is their money and like the Walton money they spend corrupting the public school system here in Arkansas, it is still theirs to spend like they wish.  Frankly, I take my smaller income and do my thing and the rich can try to defend their choices in their last days. I personally don't think most have defendable positions but hey, its their money and they certainly have their heaven on earth.  I do have issues with people buying politicians to try to get the laws weakened for their personal income.

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

@guittadabe @ARTRaveler @JohnDavidDeatherage  Corporation aren't people or tax them at the people rate and we will get rid of the Republican national debt in two years.  Somehow, the SCOTUS in their right-wing stupidity created quasi-people-okay to buy any election they want but too good to pay their part for the government they use.  Of course, the Kochs would like us to have air we can see and water we can't see through with all of their push to get rid of air and water regulations.  They ought to be sent to Mexico City for 30 days without a face mask to see life in what they are foisting off on America through stupidity by Tea Party idiots.  It sure isn't Kansas..


And most news networks work to be in the center.  On lhe FAUX Comedy News consistently runs as far right news and commentary operation, in direct work with the Republican party (or at least the Club for Greed) and the Tea Party idiots on the far side of the  far right.  It is too bad that FAUX can't be an American company and actually care about the American people and not just ape the 1% and their chairman's BFF.

guittadabe
guittadabe

@JohnDavidDeatherage  


Good for you John.  I NEVER saw a liberal apologize when they found out they were wrong.   Their reaction is usually to change the subject very quickly:


Yeah...what about bla bla bla...Faux News...bla bla bla....Koch Brothers...bla bla bla.

JohnDavidDeatherage
JohnDavidDeatherage

@TyPollard @JohnDavidDeatherage @PaulDirks

Mea Culpa.  My bad. I mistakenly thought they had received public funding to promote ACA.  I have no objections with private money promoting ACA.


guittadabe
guittadabe

@shepherdwong @reallife  

Thank you shepherdwrong.  That was one of the funniest things I have ever read.  Did you write that with a straight face?  

reallife
reallife

Good one! Kid, you have a future in comedy

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

@reallife

No, MSNBC has a well-known liberal bias. Their commentators and guests (with the exception of "conservative" guests) are selected precisely because of their credibility and level of expertise.