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http://www.politico.com/story/2013/12/obamacare-website-woes...

PR firms cash in on health rollout woes


Far from the world of government and politics, the botched launch of Healthcare.gov has become an instant classic. It has replaced such notorious bungles as New Coke and the BP oil spill as a real time example in the crisis management world of how not to respond when everything goes wrong. Experts are eagerly cashing in on the administration’s missteps, offering critiques in private interactions with clients, as well as publishing blog posts and op-eds on the basic rules of crisis management that were not followed.

“I have to believe there are lots of people in our business who are looking at this and saying, ‘Gee, these are the five things they did wrong. Here are the things I would’ve done differently,’ ” Marlin Collingwood, the president of CHT, told POLITICO. “This will be taught in a lot of business and marketing courses, and probably just as importantly in a lot of technology courses on how do you launch a new product. You certainly don’t do it like this.”

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Several experts also said the administration lacked, and still lacks, an effective spokesperson for Obamacare.

The person who could have been the face for the law, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, had her image severely damaged during the launch. In a widely panned appearance on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” a week after the site went live, Sebelius couldn’t say how many people had signed up and suggested that people should just pay the fine if they didn’t want to buy health insurance - not exactly the message the White House was putting out. It never got any better for her from there - in Miami in November with cameras rolling, the site crashed as Sebelius watched while people tried to sign up at a medical center.


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