Despite a decision by the NFL to ignore the administration's pleas to promote Obamacare, the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens have decided to go all in -- in exchange for a $130,000 contract, according to documents unearthed by a public watchdog group.
Judicial Watch told Secrets that the team was recruited by Maryland state officials to help it sell Obamacare, the new health care insurance program that has run into mammoth computer and bureaucratic troubles in its first three weeks.
The state previously announced its plans but the size of the check was not released. Judicial Watch received a copy of the agreement between the 2013 football champs and the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange.
Below is the release from Judicial Watch:
The professional football team that won this year’s Super Bowl is getting $130,000 from American taxpayers to promote Obamacare, according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch this week.
The deal was secured on September 9 between the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League (NFL) and Maryland health officials. The White House has tried recruiting professional sports leagues — especially the NFL and the National Basketball Association (NBA) — to help promote the president’s healthcare law but they have declined.
In fact, the NFL confirmed months ago that it would not participate in the Obamacare public relations campaign, offering the media this written statement: “We have responded to the letters we received from members of Congress to inform them we currently have no plans to engage in this area and have had no substantive contact with the administration about [the health-care law’s] implementation.” Washington D.C.’s mainstream newspaper called it a “blow to the administration.”
But Maryland officials evidently appealed directly to the home team, announcing in early September that the Ravens would help market the state’s Obamacare exchange known as Maryland Health Connection. Both parties refused to offer specifics when the deal was initiated and Judicial Watch filed a Maryland Public Information Act request for details.
In a “Sponsorship Agreement” between the Maryland Health Connection and the Ravens, the state will pay the Super Bowl champs $130,000 to push Obamacare on television, radio, the team’s official website, its newsletter and in social media. This includes the Ravens Report Show on cable TV and a number of pre and post-game radio segments as well as Facebook and Twitter plugs.Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.