Get Health Reform Right

From SourceWatch
Jump to: navigation, search

This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.

This article is a stub. You can help by expanding it.

Get Health Reform Right (GHRR) is a project of Blue Cross Blue Shield. GHRR consists of a "coalition of insurance industry organizations, including the Association of Health Insurance Advisors, America's Health Insurance Plans, American Benefits Council, the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers, the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers, the National Association of Health Underwriters. The organizations all oppose health care reform.[1][2]

Together they launched a Web site, www.gethealthreformright.org. As of December 10, 2009, the home page has been suspended and now carries the following announcement:

"Because of unauthorized use of the Get Health Reform Right name and logo, we have temporarily suspended the Get Health Reform Right website."[3]

The site billed the group as a grassroots campaign to "build on healthcare that works for so many to help cover the more than 45 million who still need coverage," but it is funded and directed by Blue Cross Blue Shield, a large insurance company.[citation needed]

Controversy: Tricking Facebook users into opposing health care reform

Controversy erupted on December 9, 2009, when it was discovered that GHHR was using an intermediary to pay Facebook users in "virtual dollars" to write uneditable letters to Congress opposing pending health care reform bills, and specifically the inclusion of a public insurance option.[4]

Here is how the scheme worked: Facebook users play popular online games with names like "FarmVille" and "MafiaWars." The games use virtual "currency" to buy objects within the game. Facebook users are offered more this currency if they agree to take an online survey which, when filled out, automatically sends an anti-healthcare reform email message to their member of Congress. Users get this virtual currency through an "offers" provider -- in this case a middleman for the anti-reform group called "Get Health Reform Right." After the scheme was discovered, the game company Zynga, which runs MafiaWars and FarmVille, removed all offers from its games.[5]

Blue Cross and its coalition denied ever paying for the "incentive-based" ads online.[6]

SourceWatch resources

External resources

Contact

References

  1. Timothy Foley Tell the Insurance Industry the Lies Must Stop! Change.org (blog); Undated. Accessed December 10, 2009
  2. Alan Fram Internet users lured to voice views on health bill, Associated Press , December 9, 2009
  3. GetHealthReformRight Home Page, Web site, accessed December 10, 2009
  4. Emily Berry Facebook games lure players to campaign against public option, Amednews.com, Business section. December 28, 2009
  5. Anne Zieger Health plans tricking Facebook users into reform opposition FierceHealthcare.com, December 10, 2009
  6. Emily Berry Facebook games lure players to campaign against public option, Amednews.com, Business section. December 28, 2009

AstroturfGrassroots