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Obamacare advertising to top $1 billion

...and lawmakers who wanted nothing to do with it. (Photo: AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

Because it's just so darn popular, or something...

(Image: File photo)

Via U.S. News and World Report:

More than $1 billion will be spent on advertising for and against the Affordable Care Act, the comprehensive healthcare reform law known as Obamacare, before all is said and done, according to a media firm's analysis.

Counting money spent on ads since debate on the measure heated up in 2009 until the most recent spending records available, the Campaign Media Analysis Group, part of Kantar Media, found more than $500 million has already been spent on trying to sway public opinion and political races tied to the issue.

"The law both parties now call 'Obamacare' seems due to join Social Security and Medicare in one respect: as a public policy advertising phenom, a program that is reviled and perhaps eventually revered in political advertising for billions of dollars in ad spend to come," said Elizabeth Wilner, vice president for strategic initiatives at CMAG in a release accompanying the analysis. "Yet while Social Security and Medicare have been litigated on the airwaves for more than 40 years, CMAG expects the ACA to break the $1 billion mark by its fifth birthday."

Not surprisingly, opponents of the health care law have outspent supporters by a long-shot -- an estimated 5-to-1 margin.  But with Democrats relying on Obamacare to be a big campaign issue for them during next year's midterms, expect this number to continue climbing.

"We expect Democrats on the ballot in 2014 to embrace the individual mandate in TV advertising after basically forfeiting the airwaves to Republicans and other critics for the past three years," Wilner said. "Once the ACA begins to impact voters, we think Democrats will have no choice but to embrace the upsides in advertising."

Translation: Once everyone sees what a crap bucket this thing is, Democrats are going to have to spend like crazy trying to defend it.

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