October 3, 2013
In order to get folks to shop Obamacare coverage in Tennessee, the Community Health Alliance (CHA) co-op is giving away government subsidized smart phones in a program reminiscent of the original Obamaphone program.
According to the Nashville Biz Blog, “qualified individuals” with receive an LG Lucid 2 4G smart phone, or equivalent model, a phone plan and tech support. The phone plan includes unlimited talk, unlimited texting and 1.2GB of data, according to staff writer E. J. Boyer.
Members will have to select a primary care physician from CHA’s network within 90 days of their coverage start date and must “pledge to stay connected for better health” within 90 days. After “those requirements are met, the phone — preloaded with health apps, contact information for a CHA representative, and phone numbers for primary care doctors and after-hours clinic — will be shipped to members within two weeks,” writes Boyer.
CHA is promoting the effort as a way to keep in touch with patients. “Members will have the phone number for their CHA representative pre-loaded in their phones and can quickly get answers to questions about their policies,” said CHA Chief Operating Officer Judy Slagle in a press release. “At the same time, we will be able to connect with our members by phone, by email or by text almost instantly with health tips and reminders.”
Carlos Slim, named the world’s wealthiest man four years running, was the mastermind entrepreneur behind the Obamaphone. Slim is the owner of the Mexican telecommunication company América Móvil, the corporation providing the TracFone, the product name of the now legendary Obamaphone.
“The Obama phone, an effective tool that helped the candidate gain leverage in the 2012 election, is a TracFone product stemming from the government program Lifeline, which generated a whopping $452 million last year,” Infowars reporter Julie Wilson wrote in August. “The Lifeline program is overseen by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), generating its funding by tacking on mandatory fees to consumers’ cell phone bills.”
In January, Alex Jones interviewed the “Obama Phone Lady,” Michelle Dowery, a Cleveland woman who shilled for government subsidized phones outside of a Romney event last September. After talking with Jones, Ms. Dowery said she wouldn’t vote for Obama again.
In 2012, a music remix of her Obamaphone rant went viral on Youtube.