Tag Archive: ACA

Great Affordable Care Act framing from the Obama White House

This week, Organizing for Action (formerly Obama for America), the Obama administration’s activism arm, sent around an email asking a terrific question about the Affordable Care Act:

Now that more than 3 million Americans have health insurance — a number that is growing every day — do these Health Care Repealers still want to take it away?

Winning the Affordable Care Act anecdote war

 

Now that Republicans have failed to stop the Affordable Care Act, their next tactic is to battle the Act in an anecdote war. The mainstream television news media love anecdotes, because they are small shiny objects around which the media folks can get their short attention spans. We saw this anecdote tactic play out, for example, during the recent GOP shutdown, when the media reduced many big, important issues about government to a small sideshow dispute over the World War II Memorial.

How to Frame the Affordable Care Act Win

After suffering a historic political loss via the Supreme Court’s upholding of the Affordable Care Act, Republicans are seeking to make lemonade by characterizing the ACA as a massive tax on everyone. Let’s not help them do this.

For example, I’ve heard Republicans such as Rush Limbaugh call the ACA (please don’t call it “Obamacare” — that’s pejorative right-wing framing designed to evoke Big Government and the Nanny State) “the biggest tax increase in the history of the world.” I guarantee that Republican politicians will be using phrases like “massive tax increase” over and over. But then I hear Democrats saying “no, it’s not the the largest tax increase in history, there have been bigger ones.” That’s a terrible response. It’s like a criminal lawyer telling the court, “my client didn’t kill 26 people as the prosecution alleges, he only killed 20.” You never want to argue within the frame established by your opponent. That’s playing on a field tilted against you.

Instead, here are some useful points to remember regarding the ACA and the Supreme Court ruling: