“Fake” Republican Obamacare Site To Remain Up

California Democrats say that a website run by the states’ Republican Assembly caucus is misleading, but there are no plans to shut it down, a caucus spokesperson said. posted on

Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee speaks during a press conference regarding the number of new health care enrollees through CoveredCA.com in November. Max Whittaker / Getty

There are currently no plans to shut down the California Republican Assembly caucus’ website about the state’s healthcare exchange that is being called misleading by some Democrats.

The website, coveringhealthcareca.com, has a similar URL to California’s official health care exchange website, CoveredCA.com, and mimics an official site in its look. It features frequently asked questions about health care law and has links to articles critical of the law and its rollout.

 

The Republican Assembly caucus website (left) and the official Covered California website (right).

The California Affordable Care Act prohibits websites from “the use of a domain name that is confusingly similar to another entity.” Ten websites that imitated California’s health care exchange website were sent cease-and-desist letters by the attorney general’s office in November.

Paul Song, executive chairman of Courage Campaign, a progressive advocacy group, said the 10 websites shut down earlier this year asked for users’ information.

“They were looking to take personal data and profit from it,” he said. The Republican Assembly website, however, does not.

Still, Song believes the site should be shut down. “They could have picked some other name to get their point across,” he said. The Courage Campaign has launched a petition that the site should be taken down.

The website has been up since August, said Sabrina Lockhart, communications director for the Republican Assembly caucus. She said the website is “purely a resource to provide constituents with answers to their questions” about the Affordable Care Act and called criticism from Democrats “manufactured outrage on the internet.”

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