Yes, $684 million spent marketing the Affordable Care Act was wasteful. The money was wasted because the major push was to late to be completely affective. The marketing campaign was both rushed and poorly executed. The money could have been spend much more efficiently with much less waste. For that price, I personally saw and heard very little as far as actually marketing.
The government of the United States probably went heavily into advertising once they saw that a lot of people, especially a lot of young people, were not aware of how simple the process could be once the web site got itself running right. But undoubtedly there was waste involved because this is a huge amount of money.
Obamacare is pretty much required to keep from paying fines, and those not getting it already have coverage or won't get it with or without ads. It is very wasteful to spend so much money on something that didn't need ads in the first place. It was already on the news and in papers being explained.
Given that ever American has heard about Obamacare through news media sources it seem wasteful for the government to spend $684 million on marketing ads for Obamacare. This is part of the problem in the United States, the fact that money is essentially wasted on a daily basis for things we absolutely to not need.
Spending a full $700 million dollars just to make people aware of a piece of legislation, rather than making it people's responsibility, is asinine, and is honestly borderline propaganda. The way things ended up coming out for the ads made Obamacare seem like the divine savior of the people, very off putting.