Healthcare exchanges open on October 1st, 2013. The Right Wing Tea Party Republican misinformation and lying campaign is already in high gear. According to many polls the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is at its lowest level of support. What law not in full effect could tolerate this onslaught of lies and misinformation aided by a corporate media? Not any.
While many oppose Obamacare for strict ideological reasons on both the left and the right, the bulk of the opposition is confusion. When 60+% of the citizenry are confused about a law, no opinion can be considered valid. Yet, if that law is better than the present, it is safe to assume that support would run more positive than negative.
Ideological opposition on the Right comes from the Randian false believe in full self-sufficiency and laissez-faire capitalism. It is an immoral point of view that is vogue among Right Wing politicians trying to destroy America’s social construct. Of course most of those who believe in this ideology could not really live in it. They neither have the resources or aptitude to do so.
Ideological opposition on the Left comes from the mathematical fact that a single payer system void of profits is the most efficient form of ‘health insurance’. Moreover, most on the Left rightfully view healthcare as a human right. It is inhumane that healthcare is based on one’s ability to pay. It is inhumane that one’s entire future could be dictated by the chance of becoming ill.
In that light, while Obamacare is not the best option, it is the best option that was attainable given a corrupt Congress and a corrupt political process. It is imperative that Americans enroll in the exchanges. It is imperative that Obamacare as a first step in our healthcare reform is marginally successful.
While it is not spoken about much, Obamacare is the first step on a path toward a single payer system. Those on the left that are upset that it isn’t a single payer system already must stay in the game. They must continue to fight for single payer. That said, they should not be fighting against this law because it was not their ideal or because in the initial stages of this law private insurance companies will still reap an unearned profit from skimming. Battles are won either incrementally or revolutionarily. The second option is simply not in the current American DNA. As such all must play the long game. HR 676 will be a closer reality if Obamacare is effected.
Republican Governors that refused to setup exchanges may have actually aided that process by having the Federal Government run their exchanges. Simply having Americans start their healthcare choices at one website (http://healthcare.gov) is the beginning.
The following is a helpful kit to equip you with all you need to know to fight those attempting to sabotage the last stages of Obamacare implementation. It was put together by some very smart people who understand successful messaging. Please share widely.
Personalize The Affordable Care Act
The best way to win the political argument our opponents want to have is not to have it. People are tired of the same old political arguments, and they are curious to hear what the law means for them. If we talk to people as concerned but curious consumers instead of as partisan combatants, we can move the conversation from a political frame to a consumer frame. Focus on concrete benefits Americans can see and feel—not in a sales-y way, just as neighbors sharing good news. Use every messaging opportunity to talk about the tangible, positive impact the law is having in peoples’ lives: providing the security of affordable health care that's there when you need it.
- Almost half of all Americans don't even know that Obamacare is the law of the land.
- Most do not understand how the healthcare law will impact them.
- It is important that people understand the law is being phased in so they know why they may not have seen benefits yet.
- This is the health care that Americans want: affordable and there when you need it.
- It is key for people to recognize that the law is popular—if they know others like it, that makes it easier for them to warm up to it too.
- Since it was signed into law in March 2010, the majority of Americans have either supported the law or thought that it’s not liberal enough.
- The individual parts of the Affordable Care Act are overwhelmingly popular
- Remind people that the opposition to Obamacare is driven by politics, not by any concern with the policy.
The good news is not only can we keep the health care we get through work, but now all Americans with preexisting conditions—and that’s most of us—can get affordable coverage if we change jobs or, heaven forbid, lose our job.
- People who like their coverage now need to be reassured.
- It’s good to remind people that we all know and care about people who have pre-existing conditions, and this is huge for them.
- These are real concerns for everyone: we aspire to change jobs and don’t want to be held back by health care. The fear of losing health care adds to the fear of losing a job.
If you go to healthcare.gov, you can compare different health care plans and find out how much of a subsidy you are eligible for. With the subsidies, most uninsured Americans will be able to buy quality healthcare coverage for $100 or less a month.
- Give people a call to action: show them how to take the next step.
- Paint the picture of visiting the web site and comparing plans to make it feel familiar.
- People will be motivated to find out how much money they can save right now.
Responses to attacks
"Employers are cutting full-time employees' hours down to part-time because Obamacare forces them to give full-time workers health care coverage."
- 19 out of 20 American employers already offer their full-time employees health care coverage.
- So the employers affected are only the few very stingiest ones. Yes, Obamacare will force them to change how they do business, and yes, that may mean they mistreat their employees in different ways than they used to mistreat them."Congress is exempting itself from Obamacare's rules."
- On the contrary, Congress is making all Congressional staff go on the Obamacare exchanges for their healthcare.
- The talk of exceptions came because unlike the uninsured, Congressional staff have employee subsidies to account for.
- But they will use the same exchanges as everybody else, and starting October 1 you will be able to go to healthcare.gov and see what subsidies are there for you too.
"The GOP has a much better plan. It makes health care affordable without forcing it down people's throats by fostering competition among insurers."
- Here is all you need to know about the plan Republicans just trotted out: It would not provide affordable health care for Americans with preexisting conditions, and most Americans have preexisting conditions.
- But insurance companies don't want to insure them, and that's just fine with the Republican party.
"Obamacare is overwhelmingly unpopular."
- For years now polls have clearly shown most Americans think Obamacare is an improvement over the old system, where insurance companies control who can and can't have health care. And it's clear people like it even more when they know what's in it.
- Now we're seeing a final desperate last-ditch effort by Republicans to try and derail it – because as Ted Cruz admitted, once Americans have easy-to-use exchanges and affordable rates, they won't want to give them up.
"No way, the polls show Americans hate this and Obama and his liberal allies are just shoving it down our throats."
- The polls are very clear about this: most Americans aren't sure yet how it will all work, but they want to see Obamacare rolled out and improved – not repealed.
- People want to get to see it before they make up their minds. People understandably don't want to get their hopes up, but October 1st everyone will finally be able to go online and see for themselves all the plans and subsidies available to them.
"Even unions hate Obamacare."
- Unions are in a tricky place with Obamacare. To make sure all Americans have access to affordable, quality health coverage, Obamacare is not as favorable to what are called "Cadillac plans" – the super-generous plans that CEOs and some unions get. It's just like property taxes are higher for mansions than slums.
- Unions are understandably upset, because they often traded away wages to get these better insurance plans.
- It's funny how Republicans who usually condemn unions and collective bargaining are now sticking up for them because they create an issue for Obamacare.
"Obamacare is constricting our choices of health plans."
- Actually, people will have more health plan options under Obamacare, and more affordable ones.
- Insurers are flocking to compete for the new customers they can reach through Obamacare's health insurance exchanges – websites where you can see and compare your health plan options. Current estimates say that most exchanges will have more than 50 plans to offer – all right there, easy to compare.
"Obamacare is causing doctors to turn Medicare patients away."
- More doctors accept new Medicare patients now than they did when Obamacare was enacted – and more doctors are taking new Medicare patients than are taking new patients with private insurance.
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