Twitter Reveals Public Reaction to the Exchanges

When it came to top Twitter hashtags last month, Obamacare was right up there with iPhone launch, MLB World Series, Justin Bieber, and The Voice. In fact, Obamacare was among the most tweeted topics in October 2013. Over 13.2 million tweets were related to Obamacare in this first month of pre-enrollment.

The California HealthCare Foundation (CHFC) looked at Twitter to get a read on how public is reacting to the rollout of the federal and state health insurance marketplaces. In the days before federal exchange (HealthCare.gov) launched, tweets containing a link to HealthCare.gov trended positively, with a score of 74/100. But the sentiment dipped significantly to 29/100 five days after the launch, after tens of thousands of people had tried to access HealthCare.gov.

A positive spike occurred on October 20 the day before President Obama’s Rose Garden speech. But the conversation quickly turned negative the next day. The volume of tweets containing search terms related to Obamacare and HealthCare.gov increased as a result of the Rose Garden speech: from 78,012 tweets within 24 hours before the speech; to 35,436 tweets during the hour of the speech itself; and then doubling to 185,184 tweets in the 24 hours after the speech.

Tweets about state-based exchanges were more positive than tweets about the federal exchange. The sentiment score of tweets containing a link to HealthCare.gov was 44 points lower than tweets containing links to the 17 state-based exchange sites combined. Since October 1, the state-based exchange sites had a positive sentiment score of 70/100. Conversely, HealthCare.gov had a negative sentiment score during this period of 26/100.
These five celebrities who were most frequently retweeted when they used #getcovered, the hashtag used by Enroll America and the White House:
Lady Gaga (40 million followers, 14.9K retweets)
Nina Dobrev (4 million followers, 1.4K retweets)
Pharrell Williams (2 million followers, 1.3K retweets)
John Legend (4 million followers, 982 retweets)
Emily VanCamp (320K followers, 499 retweets)

On October 22, the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative (CCHI) launched an irreverent spoof on the “Got Milk?” ads. Its “Got Insurance?” campaign’s message is now popularly known as “Brosurance,” a term used in one of the ads. The campaign, which was aimed at the young invincible demographic,  promoted the hashtag #GotInsurance and the website doyougotinsurance.com. Although #GotInsurance was the promoted hashtag, #brosurance began to dominate the conversation after October 22, and accelerated again when it was raised during HHS Secretary Sebelius’ Congressional testimony on October 30. For more information, visit http://www.chcf.org/programs/healthreform/aca140/october#ixzz2jt6fYDtm

Last Updated 09/23/2020

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