Health Care Scoreboard
Public opinion is becoming increasingly hostile to the ACA (Affordable Care Act). Leading up the Supreme Court’s decision, CBS released a new poll showing 41% of the population wants the ACA repealed. That’s up from 37%. What's scary is that fewer and fewer people are saying they want to keep the bill or only eliminate the mandate.
How on earth did we get here? While not perfect, the ACA is good policy. It will reduce the deficit and the number of uninsured.
New Pew Research Center data provide insight into the growing number of opponents. Pew conducted a study of how often news broadcasts used terms supporting the ACA versus not supporting the ACA.
This table shows conservative messaging, not the actual merits of their health care vision, is prevailing, with a score of 18,181 total mentions of conservative buzz words versus 10,883 of progressive points. How did we wind up 8,000 points behind?
It can't be all Fox News’ fault!
Would things be different had ACA supporters been more successful at messaging all of the ACA's benefits? Or would the better strategy have been to highlight the "death panels" that insurance companies already deploy?
Progressives thought "hope" of a better health care policy would help America realize the ACA's value. However, that's complex and takes more than a 90-second news clip to explain. Conservatives exploited fear, which is simpler to grasp and plays better in a tight news segment. Progressives need to find a mechanism to balance them out.
Not by stooping to their level. Instead, the arguement should be about social justice. We should have turned the focus on the people going without insurance. The millions of Americans that want insurance but can't get it because of pre-exsisting conditions. The millions more that lost their insurance when they lost their jobs. It should be about our fundemental responsibility to each other as part of a community. Guilt trips are more effective than fear tatics and hope.
The future of American health care, and its sickest people, rests on the shoulders of 9 people. I hope the Supreme Court does not listen to the polls, and bases their decision on the facts. At this point, all we can do it wait with fingers crossed. But, there is an important lesson to take away regardless of how SCOTUS rules: we need to be more active in pushing, explaining, and discussing good policy. Essentially, we need to get more points on the scoreboard.