Imitation isn't any form of flattery in this case. California Republicans are taking flak for a website (coveringhealthcareca.com) that highlights downsides of health care reform—but resembles an official site and has a URL similar to that of the state's health care exchange (www.coveredca.com). Critics say the site, which was paid for by taxpayer dollars and publicized by Republican members of the state assembly, is a deliberate attempt to mislead people looking for the real thing, much like 10 other imitation sites that have already been shut down, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
"Republicans in Sacramento have wasted taxpayer dollars building a fake website in an attempt to sow confusion and fear, in a futile attempt to discredit the law," charges the chairman of the progressive Courage Campaign group. After an outcry, the GOP site was updated to include direct links to California's state insurance exchange, reports the Los Angeles Times. Republicans say the site was merely an effort to keep their constituents informed about ObamaCare, and note that traffic has increased tenfold since it first made the news.