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HHS Bought “ObamaCare” Google Search

(H/T George Scoville of the CATO Institute)

The White House clearly has lost the branding war over it’s top policy initiative.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has bought a Google advertisement to steer people searching for “ObamaCare” to a page that is customized to detect searchers’ locations and steer them both to local health insurance information and to a list of “what’s in the law for you.”

“We are using a bunch of search term[s] to help point people to HealthCare.gov. Part of our online efforts to help get accurate information to people about the new law (i.e. also use Facebook, Twitter, blogs and webcasts),” an HHS official confirmed by e-mail.

For those unfamiliar with how Google Search ads work — here’s a refresher when two firms of trial lawyers in Wisconsin went at it over Google ads — you pretty much pay Google a certain amount to make sure your website or link appears as the first page in a search.  This method of advertising is actually how Google makes most of its revenue I’ve been told.

So, the question I have is this:  What sort of bidding war did (or could) go on with the White House and various conservative groups opposed to the health care law to lock down this specific search?

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