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Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Aaron Klein

Aaron Klein

The Group Behind Marketing Obamacare

A little-known group called the Herndon Alliance has been the driving force in branding Obamacare to the public. It was this group that advised President Obama to tell Americans they can maintain their choice of doctors and insurers under his health-care plan.

The Herndon Alliance is openly partnered with a number of radical groups, including MoveOn, the National Council of La Raza, and a slew of George Soros-funded activist organizations. It is also partnered with a “direct action” group dedicated to the teachings of radical Saul Alinsky.

The original research that informed Herndon’s blueprint for marketing Obamacare, WorldnetDaily has found, was concocted by the imaging guru for the late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez. Herndon’s campaign was also based on survey data from progressive pollster Celinda Lake, whose information was central in President Obama’s 2012 campaign decision to turn contraception for women into a key election issue.

Lake and Herndon have been providing strategy to Enroll America, the main organization pushing for the uninsured to sign up for Obamacare. Enroll America’s executive director, Ron Pollack, was a founding member of Herndon.

The Herndon Alliance has been behind the marketing campaign for Obamacare since the inception of the legislation.

Herndon is “the most influential group in the health arena that the public has never heard of,” reported Politico in 2009.

Politico reported that when Obama repeatedly announced Americans can maintain their “choice” of doctors and insurance plans, “he is using a Herndon strategy for wringing fear out of a system overhaul.”

Herndon’s decisions on how to market Obamacare were based significantly on the theoretical work of American Environics, which was founded in 2005 by Michael Shellenberger.

In 2004, Shellenberger registered with the Department of Justice as a foreign agent. His prime client was Venezuelan dictator Chavez. Shellenberger’s private consulting firm, Lumina Strategies LLC, got a six-month, $60,000 subcontract to help build up Chavez’s image.

Shellenberger is also a founder of the Apollo Alliance. Apollo is led by a host of radicals, including Van Jones, Obama’s former green jobs czar, who resigned after media reports exposed that he had founded a communist revolutionary group. Jeff Jones, who heads Apollo’s New York branch, is a former top leader of the Weathermen terrorist organization, while Apollo associate Joel Rogers is a founder of the socialist-oriented New Party.

The Herndon Alliance website lists the group’s “partners,” which includes the Soros-funded Center for American Progress. Van Jones works at the heavily influential group. googooOther Herndon partners are the AFL-CIO, MoveOn, National Council of La Raza, and the socialist-oriented SEIU union.

Yet another Herndon partner is Citizens Action of Wisconsin, an arm of the Midwest Academy. Midwest is dedicated to teaching the tactics of radical organizer Saul Alinsky.

 

How Obamacare Was Sold With A Spoonful Of Deception

The Herndon Alliance in 2009 recommended using a series of phrases, some deceptive, that the White House and Democrats have employed to sell the health-care law to the public.

Based on polling data about what Americans like and don’t like about Obamacare, Herndon recommended avoiding the following terminology: “universal health care,” “Canadian style health care,” “Medicare for all,” “competition,” “government health care for all,” “regulations,” “required,” “public or government health care,” and “basic health care.”

Key phrases to use in the messaging of Obamacare included: “quality affordable health care,” “American solutions,” “a choice of private and public plans,” “choice and control,” “giving security and peace of mind,” “sliding scale, pay what you can afford,” “government as a watchdog, ensure a fair playing field,” “affordable health plans” and “smart investments.”

Many of these phrases were incorporated in the marketing material released by the White House and groups like Enroll America.

Herndon specifically labeled women, particularly those over the age of 65, as “a key persuadable audience.”

“We need to show them how the new law will benefit them. Remember that when messaging to women, start with our core message to build trust,” Herndon advised. The core message: “Reform requires that members of Congress get their healthcare coverage from the same plans as millions of Americans.”

However, the Affordable Care Act actually locks lawmakers and their staffers out of the federal government’s group health plan and instead puts them into state insurance exchanges.

Herndon recognized the public was finding it difficult to accept that Obamacare would bring health-care costs down. So to avoid a conversation on costs, Herndon suggested what it called a “long-term effort to ‘move’ the public along by focusing the conversation on specific benefits of the law that will most affect them.”

On Medicare, Herndon concocted two key selling points: “The law protects Medicare and provides preventive care with no co-pay.”

In actuality, it has been widely reported that the government is scaling back Medicare funding to help defray the costs of Obamacare, with the likely loss of some benefits while raising premiums.

In one immediate ramification, the country’s largest provider of Medicare Advantage plans, UnitedHealth Group, said it will need to reduce the number of doctors in its network nationally by 10 to 15 percent in the next year alone.

For those who say they don’t trust the government, Herndon posits the best response “is one that says the law requires us all (consumers, doctors and nurses, hospitals, insurance companies) to take responsibility and play by fair rules.”

“Our government is a government for all the people, not just for the privileged,” Herndon recommends saying.

However, that talking point may surprise critics of what has been described as waivers of some provisions of the health-care law for a number of businesses and unions. The Department of Health and Human Services allowed lower annual caps on the total amount of medical bills some firms and unions pay for each subscriber. Reportedly the temporary waivers were offered to 722 businesses, 417 groups of small employers bound by collective bargaining agreements, and 34 unions.

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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