With November’s election rapidly approaching, Families USA recently presented a “messaging” conference for Democrats. The message they delivered sounds much like what the American public and this blog said about Obamacare from the beginning…it’s a lousy bill.
But first a bit of background on Families USA. It has been a major proponent of anything that sounds like Obamacare for two decades. It was one of Obamacare’s biggest cheerleaders last year and into this year. Before summoning Democrats to it’s conference, it had Herndon Alliance (a lobbist for national health care) do some polling. Apparently, what they found was not pretty.
So, here’s the new marching orders for Democrats in this year’s elections. They have been instructed to say:
The law is not perfect, but it does good things and helps many people. Now we’ll work to improve it.
I’m guessing that sentence will be coming soon to a campaign near you.
Along with being told what to say, Democrats were also told, based on polling data, what not to say.
“Keep claims small and credible; don’t overpromise or ‘spin’ what the law delivers,” it advised. Its “to don’t” items include offering “a long list of benefits” or claims that “the law will reduce costs and the deficit,” even as “Voters are concerned about rising health care costs and believe that costs will continue to rise.”
Let me suggest a few more “to don’ts”.
Don’t tell people that the $500 billion cuts to Medicare will extend the life of Medicare by ___ years (feel free to fill in that blank with the most recent proclamation from the White House), while at the same time claiming to use that “savings” to cover the cost of insurance for the uninsured. People seem to be on to that shell game.
Don’t tell people that they can keep their own insurance if they like it. They now know they can’t. (See this post.)
Don’t tell people that they can keep their own doctor if they like it. They now know they can’t. (See this post.)
And, as for you, should you be “lucky” enough to be at a town hall meeting where you are told:
The law is not perfect, but it does good things and helps many people. Now we’ll work to improve it,
ask the following questions.
If you knew it wasn’t perfect, why did you vote for it? Why didn’t you wait until you had dealt with the imperfections? Or didn’t you know about the imperfections, because you hadn’t read the bill?
I will be most interested in learning the answers you receive.