The fact that it merits a response--Answer ID No. 1442--in the "frequently asked questions" section of the medicare.gov consumer Web site suggests that people are asking the question fairly frequently: "Why is there a 1-800-MEDICARE blimp appearing in my town?"
As part of is annual $30 million campaign to educate Medicare recipients about their benefits and federal healthcare resources available to the public, CMS has shelled out $600,000 of taxpayer money to paste the number of its toll-free help line on a dirigible floating above college football games and other "major community events and senior activities" this fall.
"The blimp is scheduled to tour many parts of the country in the coming weeks, serving as a huge, mobile billboard that can specifically reach our audience in a different location every day," CMS explains.
This is a good place to insert your own joke about the government and hot air.