Obamacare: A Second Chance to Tell the Truth

In a truly unexpected 5-4 decision with Chief Justice Roberts leading the way the Supreme Court ruled President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, and its hotly contested individual mandate, was indeed constitutional. While the last 2 years were filled with court challenges and rampant questionable claims over the bill’s intent, the administration and the Democrats need to decide what to do now. Mitt Romney and the Republican Party have already taken up a steadfast “repeal and replace” position. But what about the Democrats? Now that the constitutionality of the law is no longer in question, they have what amounts to a second chance to wrest control of the conversation from the GOP and tell the voting public what is actually in the bill. 

      After the ruling CNN and other media outlets began digging deeper into the Affordable Care Act’s text to explore what the law does. This was a focal shift from unending speculation over its legality to one that asked “what will the bill do for average Americans”. President Obama may have set the tone of the conversation from here on out, in the media at least, when he outlined the ACA’s benefits and who will actually be impacted by the mandate and why. Compared with the Republicans’ strategy of “Repeal” without any plan for replacement and their ardent, unsupported claims that the law is “making problems worse”, Democrats now have a broad, positive line of response. They have a full list of very popular provisions detailed in the bill along with many the public is less aware of like consumer rebates from insurers who don’t put enough of their premium dollars towards actual medical costs. From banning insurers from denying coverage for preexisting conditions to saving Seniors hundreds of dollars each through the prescription drug doughnut hole closure to eliminating co-pays for preventative care to improving access to care and increasing industry efficiency to the creation of competitive insurance marketplaces, Democrats have a repository of highly anticipated benefits to stand against the wall of criticism or attempts to repeal.

      In addition they have the opportunity to correct the inaccuracies spread through an ambitious misinformation campaign. From death panels to government takeovers of health care, Democrats can put a halt to the claims, new and old alike. Within hours of the Courts ruling new rhetoric emerged claiming the mandate was a tax on all the middle class, concluding the Court “rewrote” the law. These claims are easily debunked. The mandate is not a tax, the penalty is. Only those who can purchase insurance but choose not to are subject to the penalty. This hardly amounts to a middle class tax increase especially when there are a multitude of subsidies and tax breaks for those who have problems paying for coverage. There was no rewriting on the law as there has been no alterations to the text of the bill. The penalty has always been in the form of a tax.

       Throughout the controversy over the passage of the Affordable Care Act and its long battle through the courts, Democrats have simply hoped the law would become more popular with the public. This was a near impossibility given the ardent, bludgeoning attacks against it since its inception. Without a counter, the opposing message always wins. This was evident in the 2010 midterm elections. The Democrats lost the message battle. They lost it on health care, it was lost on financial reform, it was lost on the economy. Each of these fronts were defensible had Democrats simply taken one lesson from the GOP playbook to heart. Repetition. Find that concise, easily repeatable talking point and stick to it. There’s a wealth of benefits the Democrats have within the repository of the health care law to draw upon. All that is required is a united stance and a simple message to run with. Second chances don’t come along often. The question is, “Do Democrats have the wherewithal to take advantage of it?


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16 Comments to “Obamacare: A Second Chance to Tell the Truth”

  1. Good luck to all of us in getting the demos to agree on anything!

  2. I will understand the laziness and apathy of a large segment of the population who will blindly accept whatever they hear without bothering to fact check it if it bolsters whatever agenda they live by. Too much effort to actually think about it, just copy/paste it to Facebook and keep the ignorance chain a-movin’. Sigh…..

  3. many of the benefits of the ACA will not kick in until after the election. in the meantime, the gop will continue to hammer away about how bad it is. you know, the usual lies, it’s a job killer, deprives us of our freedom to choose, adds to the deficit….

    • Undoubtedly. That’s why the Dems need to push back hard against it this time around. I read a bit about Pelosi on Meet the Press this morning and she had a “bring it on” attitude. “If the Republicans what to have this debate, we’ll have it.” is about what she said.
      I think it’d be worth all of us just go on the DNC’s site, Obama’s reelection site and your local reps sites and harp on them to educate the country about what’s in the ACA. I sent emails to both Obama and the DNC then followed that up with tweets to them.

      I encourage others to do the same. The more people who contact them the more they will (hopefully) get the message.

  4. I agree, Obama and the Dems should keep repeating ACA’s virtues. Also, I believe Romney called the mandate the responsbility provision, which deters the “freeriders” from inflicting direct financial harm or damage on to the responsibly insured public. Obamacare compels freeriders to be responsible and pay for their healthcare, instead of jumping in and out of the system, so that the rest of the country isn’t always left at the table with the expensive tab.

    • “I believe Romney called the mandate the responsbility provision, which deters the “freeriders” from inflicting direct financial harm …”

      That video clip of him saying that should be played repeatedly throughout the rest of the campaign… along with a few other choice clips showing his other flip-flops.

  5. Your reply : ‘We can’t keep backing down from the false claims out there. There needs to be some unity and challenges against the misinformation’.
    Unity among Democrats is becoming a rare event. But challenge does need to be our rallying cry.
    I hope you don’t mind by reblogging this.
    Along with the misinformation, disinformation and lies by Romney and his campaign, Obamacare was based entirely on Romneycare.
    As I heard this morning, Romney running against Obamacare is like President Obama running against killing Bin Ladin.

    • “I hope you don’t mind by reblogging this.”

      Not at all…feel free 🙂

      “As I heard this morning, Romney running against Obamacare is like President Obama running against killing Bin Ladin.”

      This is the best analogy I’ve heard. So very true.

  6. Reblogged this on The Last Of The Millenniums and commented:
    All of us should do what we can to get ACCURATE information on the ACA out there,
    I willfully admit that I have been lax as I concentrate more on the politics rather then the policy.
    This is a great post and a great site.

    • “All of us should do what we can to get ACCURATE information on the ACA out there,”

      I suggested in reply to Larry’s comment, I think it’d be worth taking a few minutes to email the DNC, Obama’s campaign and your local reps to communicate the importance of educating the public about the law, especially now when we have a 2nd chance. I backed my emails up with tweets. The more people who do it, the more they will listen.

      Maybe starting a petition on that site Obama set up to help people get their messages out would be a good idea too. There is just so much that’s positive about the bill, it’s so very sad the Dems won’t stand up against the easily debunked misinformation.

  7. Yep … the Dems are losing the messaging battle … and some say because they did such a lousy job of educating the public the first time around. Oh well … i remain hopefully for a division of power after November.

    • Well yea they did a horrible job at educating the public the first time but that’s why I think they should take full advantage of this 2nd chance.

      Heard the DCCC is getting the message and are running on health care and debunking the GOP claims in House races.

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