Illinois health campaign among nation's costliest

Illinois health campaign among nation's costliest

By CARLA K. JOHNSON

AP Medical Writer

CHICAGO (AP) - The campaign to promote President Barack Obama's health care law in his home state of Illinois has been one of the nation's costliest with a $33 million contract for work by high-priced public relations experts.

An Associated Press review of hundreds of pages of documents finds more than 90 people billed at least $270 an hour under a contract with few built-in restraints.

Illinois got a late start, and executives at the contractor, the PR agency FleishmanHillard, say that meant they needed to flood the assignment with their best people during the first months.

Jennifer Koehler, the top government official for Get Covered Illinois, says the state is making sure there are "legitimate justifications for every expense" submitted by the FleishmanHillard.

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