By Carole on Jun 30, 2012
In the aftermath of their Supreme Court victory, supporters of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) are lamenting over their inability to sell the law to the American people. According to a recent poll, only 34 percent approve of Obamacare while 48 percent disapprove and that was before the Supreme Court affirmed that it is one of the biggest tax increases in history.
Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, a former White House adviser who was involved in developing Obamacare blames a lack of salesmanship. "Unfortunately, we never had a really effective strategy around communicating to the public the benefits and the rationale behind health care reform," he said. "We never had a spokesperson, and the public never really understood what we were doing."
In fact, the spokesperson was President Barack Obama himself who, for over a year, gave speech after speech on his idea of health care reform to the exclusion of virtually everything else. How could anyone forget the most elaborate infomercial in television history - his September 2009 address on the topic in front of a joint session of Congress?
White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer claims it's not the law but the subject matter that is to blame. "No one in history has ever been able to communicate successfully about health care," he said, "because it is a deeply personal and polarizing issue and people are therefore afraid of the unknown." So the unsustainable cost of Obamacare is not the reason for its unpopularity' it's just our fault for taking the federal government's takeover of healthcare too personally. Mr. Pfeiffer's solution? "We need the law to be fully in effect before the known overtakes the unknown."
Sounds an awful lot like then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) telling us, "We have to pass the bill so you can find out what's in it." Now they want to push the goal post of understanding and acceptance even further away.
The truth is this "you'll thank us later" strategy has already failed. While most Americans like certain provisions of the law, they reject it in its over-reaching and unaffordable entirety at every opportunity. No celebrity endorsement or clever advertising slogan is going to convince them to embrace what they know is bad for their families and their country.
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