Dude, Where's My $500 Million of Obamacare Ads?

As we approach the 2014 open enrollment deadline for ObamaCare in a week, have you noticed how the airwaves are absolutely flooded with $500 million of commercials by health insurance companies plugging that program day and night? What, you haven't seen a thing? Yes, apparently Tinker Bell sprinkled Pixie Dust upon all that money and made it, poof, disappear despite assurances last December that such promised ad buys were proof that insurance companies were so positive of the ultimate success of success of ObamaCare that they had committed so much money to promoting it.

This supposed all in commitment by insurance companies to such a large amount of spending on Obamacare promotion was chronicled by your humble correspondent on December 17. Since that time no such ad spending has occurred. Did the media liberals hope that we wouldn't notice the utter lack of insurance company ad spending? If so, they are out of luck since they are now being called out here starting with Paul Krugman of the New York Times who claimed that The Big Money Bets on Obamacare:

So the shoe we’ve all been waiting to see drop — or not — was the surge of advertising urging people buying insurance through the exchanges to buy from me, me, me.

That shoe has just dropped, with $500 million of advertising spending now in the pipeline. Insurers think this is going to work.

Uh, Paul, could you check that pipeline for plugs since nothing has come out the other end? Your report is due no later than March 31. And now we go to Greg Sargent of the Washington Post who was bubbling with excitement over the hundreds of millions of ad dollars about to be unleashed:

I’ve expected this for some time, and here it is: The Wall Street Journal reports that insurance companies are set to unleash hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising to entice potential customers on to the exchanges created by Obamacare.

Um, it seems to me that the insurance companies kept those hundreds of millions of dollars of advertising on a very tight leash since the public never saw it. We are also awaiting word from Greg Sargent and his leash on this matter. And while we wait, let us look at his Washington Post colleagues from the Wonkblog, Journolist Ezra Klein and Evan Soltas, who told us how the insurers plan to cash in on an Obamacare gold rush:

...According to trade association TVB, insurers will spend more than $500 million on local television ads in 2014. And that's to say nothing of cable television ads and social media campaigns.

Insurers look at these next few years as a gold rush. Tens of millions of people will be buying private insurance of the exchanges. It's a swarm of customers like nothing they've ever seen. And they plan to capture them — even if they need to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to do so.

Yeah, my TV screen has been flooded with $500 million worth of ObamaCare ads...NOT! Although Ezra Klein is no longer a Wonkie and is currently circling around in a holding pattern as the General Electric Vox Media head spinmeister, perhaps he could spin out the tale of what happened to all that "gold rush" ad money since 2014 Obamacare registration ends in a week.

Finally, we get to the perp. The one who appears to have generated the Obamacare ad buy talking point that the other MSM liberals enthusiastically embraced. Come out from behind the curtain and take a bow...Timothy Martin of the Wall Street Journal! Don't be shy. After all it was you who originated the story on December 15, Health Insurers Crank Up Ad Spending:

The enrollment surge has compelled some insurers to snap up TV ad time, said Scott Roskowski, director of business development at TVB. "It's already very noticeable that the December pace has begun to pick up" with insurer advertising, Mr. Roskowski said.

TVB projects that insurers will spend about $500 million on ads on local TV stations in 2014.

So from the pages of the Wall Street journal the ad buy tidbit got hungrily snapped up by liberals in the MSM desperate to supply any  good news about ObamaCare. Since it didn't pan out at all, can we expect corrections from those listed above? Even a simple "Oops!" would do.

ObamaCare Ezra Klein Paul Krugman
P.J. Gladnick's picture