Tuesday, January 21, 2014

On Being Specific About Health Reform

Be specific.

Niall Strangel, “Right Says Republicans Must Get Specific to Roll Back Liberal Tide,” The Hill,  January 20, 2014

Multiple ways exist to say it to win voters over:
  • Be specific rather than vague.
  • Be concrete rather than abstract. 
  •  Believe in results rather than rhetoric. 
  •   Be objective rather than subjective. 
  •  Be a pragmatist  rather than a idealist. 
  • Be transparent in pricing health care services rather than opaque or ignorant about what things cost.
·         Or simply,  are you better off than you were four years ago  when the Affordable Care Act passed?

These are the specific messages the GOP must send if it hopes to win the House and Senate in 2014.    

It will not be easy.  Grandiose promises  such as “equality for all,”  “extended unemployment benefits,”  “guaranteed minimal wage,”  “health care access for everyone,”  “expanded Medicaid for the uninsured, ”  and a “fair shot for everyone” sell well and tug on the heart strings of every compassionate American. 
This is true even if the realities are  higher taxes,  a slowing economy,  a growing deficit, a  shrinking middle class,  growing poverty, and an expanding income gap between the rich, the middle class, and the poor.

To be specific,  ask the public these specific questions.
  •   Are your health costs lower now than 4 years ago?   
  •  Is your waiting time to see a doctor longer than 4  years ago? 
  •  Are you having trouble finding a doctor to accept you as a patient if you are on Medicaid or Medicare? 
  • Do you think the Affordable Care Act will make the health system better or worse,  fairer or less fair?
  •    Do you believe the young and healthy ought to pay for  care of the older and sicker?
  •  Would you rather be seen at a private physician’s office or a hospital waiting room?
  •  Do you think government has the right to force you to pay for health care premiums?
  •  Should these premiums contain a laundry list of services – maternity care, pediatric care, contraceptive benefits,  pregnancy care,  preventive care, emergency room care – that you may not want or think you need?
  • Do you believe a government official or a doctor should determine what service you receive and at what price? 
  •  Should government have the right to pick a new doctor and health plan even though you are satisfied with your current doctor and health plan?
  • The Affordable Care Act has the law of the law of the land for 4 years?  Based  on your experience and your expectations, should the law be modified?   Should it be repealed?
  • Do you believe in government promises or marketplace realities? What is the proper balance between the two?
Tweet:   To prevail in the November 2014 elections, Republicans must be specific about consequences of a Democratic victory and whether there is such a thing as a “free lunch.”

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