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Perry blasts ObamaCare as Sebelius visits Texas to promote the law

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Aug. 19, 2013: County Judge Ed Emmett, left, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, center left, and Mayor Annise Parker, right, look on as Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, center, addresses attendees during a stakeholder meeting to address implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Houston.AP

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is criticizing the Obama administration after it announced a new video contest meant to promote ObamaCare among young people during Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius’ visit to his state.

The “Health Young America” contest, for which the administration is partnering with non-profit Young Invincibles, encourages young people to create videos explaining their experiences with health insurance. Users can submit their own videos and vote on their favorites.

The creators of the videos that receive the most votes in three different categories will receive cash prizes, according to the contest’s website.

Sebelius announced the contest while on a visit to Houston to promote the new law before it goes into effect in October, a push slammed by Perry. 

"If ObamaCare were sound health care policy, Secretary Sebelius wouldn't have to resort to video contests and prizes to tempt people to sign up,” Perry said in a statement. “Texans are already subject to too much costly and burdensome federal regulation, and ObamaCare only makes the problem worse."

The new video contest is the latest in a string of promotional efforts by HHS before the ObamaCare rollout.

Officials have recruited bloggers and private groups to promote and publicize the new law, although their attempt to engage in a similar relationship with the NFL and the NBA was rejected by the leagues.

The federal government has a $41 million contract with public relations firm Weber Shandwick for a national campaign to push ObamaCare through different channels. Separately, federal grants are fueling a $684 million outreach effort through the states.

The Affordable Care Act, commonly called ObamaCare, was passed in 2010, but many of its major provisions have not yet taken effect.

On Oct. 1, new health plans will be offered through a government-run marketplace or health care "exchange."