As Ed phrased it earlier this summer, the NFL decided to punt on helping the Obama administration with their desperate bid shore up support for and promote heck out of the Patient “Protection” and “Affordable” Care Act to the American public, the better to convince people to sign up through the newly-created exchanges en masse — but the NFL’s big pass evidently didn’t deter ObamaCare supporters from looking for help from individual teams. Much like California, Maryland has been working overtime on behalf of the president’s crowning legislative achievement, and it sounds like they finally convinced their local football team to help them out. Via the WSJ:
Maryland health officials announced Tuesday that they will partner with the Baltimore Ravens football team this fall to help spread the word about the state’s health insurance marketplace that will allow consumers to shop for health insurance starting in October.
The partnership with the two-time Super Bowl champions is part of a broader campaign unveiled on Tuesday to market Maryland Health Connection that will allow consumers to shop for health insurance or sign up for Medicaid if they qualify. The Obama administration had been hoping to partner with the National Football League to promote its signature health law, also known as Obamacare, but the league balked after some Republican lawmakers issued a warning to sports organizations to avoid the issue.
However, the Baltimore Ravens have previously been involved in promoting Maryland health efforts including a 2008 expansion of Medicaid. Research conducted for the state suggests 71% of uninsured people watched, attended or listened to a Baltimore Ravens game in the past 12 months. About 800,000,or 14% of the state’s population of 5.8 million, is uninsured. The state is also partnering with the drug-store chain CVS Inc. and regional grocery store Giant Food, a unit of Ahold NV.
Maryland and the thirteen other states (and DC) that volunteered to fully run their own insurance exchanges sans federal government collaboration are really ramping up their advertising efforts with less than a month to go until the grand opening. Marketing via football games is kind of an ideal plan — they reach a wide and economically diverse audience, and the season coincides pretty nicely with start of the ObamaCare open enrollment period — and goodness knows ObamaCare is going to need all the help it can get.