Health Insurance Lobby’s Stealth Astroturf Campaign Revealed!

Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal reported that AHIP — the multimillion dollar lobbying juggernaut for the health insurance industry — has mobilized 50,000 employees to lobby Congress to defeat the public option. ThinkProgress has learned that AHIP’s grassroots lobbying is being managed by the corporate consulting firm Democracy Data & Communications. DDC has made a name for itself as one of the most effective stealth lobbying firms. Earlier this summer, DDC was caught by reporters using a front group called “Citizens for a Safe Alexandria” to attack the Obama administration for seeking to prosecute Guantanamo Bay prisoners in Alexandria, VA.


According to the server-information hub Domaintools.com, the AHIP grassroots outreach website AHIPAdvocacy.org is hosted on a server owned by DDC. Though DDC conceals the hosting of its other websites using a service called DomainsByProxy, ThinkProgress has obtained a list of the domains hosted on DDC servers. A review of this data shows that DDC maintains the grassroots outreach websites for large health insurance companies, but also for big tobacco and Koch Industries:

– phillipmorrisusaactioncenter.org (Altria)

– tobaccoissues.com (Altria)

– kochpac.com (Koch Industries)

– aetnavotes.com (Aetna)

– healthactionnetwork.org (WellPoint)

– humanapartners.com (Humana)

– ahipadvocacy.org (AHIP)

DDC is a firm that promises “high impact” outreach programs to not only influence the grassroots, but “change attitudes for the long term.”

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