Social change work is hard and frustrating and wonderful and terrible; it is also, at times, funny, quirky and just plain fascinating. With this blog we hope to capture all that goes into what we do at Capital Good Fund, and we invite you to join the conversation!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Great Programs Fail Without Marketing

When you hear the debate about large scale federal programs such as the Affordable Care Act, the focus tends to be on issues related to taxes, states rights, the role of government, etc.  Yet what is becoming increasingly clear to me is that once a piece of legislation is passed and a program funded; once the lawsuits have run their course; and in short once the dust has settled, the most critical question is how people will actually take advantage of the initiative.

The Obamacare rollout is the exception that proves the rule.  Going into it, policymakers knew that unless a large percentage of uninsured young people signed up for the exchanges, the whole program wouldn't work.  To address this, the federal government spent nearly $700 million on "publicity, marketing and advertising..."  And it appears to have worked: as of April 19, 2014 over 8 million Americans had selected a plan on the insurance marketplaces (source: CNN)