Move Along, Nothing To See,

No health care astroturf here:

At least one major insurer is urging its employees to participate in tea parties.

Last week, UnitedHealth Group–the second largest health insurance company in the country–sent out a letter to its employees urging them to call UHG’s United for Health Reform Advocacy Hotline to speak with an advocacy specialist about health care reform. The advocacy specialist, according to the letter, is there to help UHG employees write personalized messages to elected officials, and to arm them with talking points to use at local events in order to better oppose the public health insurance option.

TPM has the letter, excerpts of which are below:

HCM1

***

HCM2

So the second-largest health insurance company in America is helping its employees to contact their Congressional representatives and attend town hall meetings…but conservatives want us to think they’re not putting together anti-reform astroturf.

Look, there’s nothing wrong with people organizing to support or oppose a particular policy.  But when a major corporation instructs its employees to organize against a policy it dislikes, and when those employees turn around and pretend to be some kind of spontaneous grassroots movement, that’s astroturf. In fact, it’s the textbook example of astroturf.

Maybe if conservatives weren’t engaging in this kind of duplicitous backroom fake-grassroots organizing, the American people would actually trust them on health care:

Do you generally approve or disapprove of the way that Republicans in Congress are handling the issue of health care reform?

Approve ……………………………………..21
Disapprove …………………………………62
Not sure ……………………………………..17

A key part of astroturfing is creating the appearance that you have popular support, even though you actually don’t. Lo and behold, conservatives pretend they have popular support on health care, when in reality nearly 2/3rds of the American people don’t trust them at all on  health care.

I would call this an epic teabagger fail. Better luck next time, guys.

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