Tag Archive: health care

President Obama slams Republicans on Affordable Care Act

President Obama held a press conference yesterday (see video above), and it turned into a masterful attack by the President against Republicans on the Affordable Care Act:

Messaging Maxim #6: Keep it Stupidly Simple

 

A friend forwarded the above sound clip, featuring President George W. Bush announcing his Medicare Part D prescription drug plan in 2006. The point of the clip was to show that Bush and the Republicans were all for extending deadlines for health insurance programs until President Barack Obama extended the March 31, 2014 Affordable Care Act signup deadline. But what was perhaps more striking about the Bush clip was its almost childlike simplicity of the language and delivery:

The average premium that seniors pay is a third less than had been expected, just $25 per month instead of $37 per month.

Thanks to this new coverage, America’s seniors are now getting the modern medicine they need at prices they can afford.

During George W. Bush’s presidency, Democrats made plenty of fun of Bush’s “Bartles and Jaymes” simplicity of speech. Before that, Democrats mocked the simplicity of presidential candidate and then President Ronald Reagan. But such simplicity often works. Indeed, Reagan became known as “The Great Communicator.” For these reasons, we now list Messaging Maxim #6: Keep it Stupidly Simple.

Affordable Care Act extension could be a political winner for Democrats

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi celebrates 4th anniversary of Affordable Care Act, 3/23/14.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi celebrates 4th anniversary of Affordable Care Act, 3/22/14.

Last night, major media outlets reported that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is granting a limited extension of the March 31 deadline to enroll for coverage under the Affordable Care Act for 2014. According to these reports, enrollees who certify that they began the enrollment process by March 31 will be given a brief extension to complete the process.

Predictably, Republicans moved swiftly to attack the ACA extension. For example, on Twitter, many users linked to an early FoxNews” report of the extension, and commented negatively, such as @puristflyfisher, who wrote: “If Obamacare doing so well why more time needed to sign up.”

Aside from the valid reason that this limited Affordable Care Act extension is warranted because of previous difficulties with the healthcare.gov website that has been overwhelmed with 1 million visits this past Monday and over 1.2 million yesterday, the extension could be good politics for the Democrats. Here are some reasons why:

President Obama sells the Affordable Care Act

Chuck Todd of NBC News created a media firestorm last week when he blamed President Barack Obama “for not selling” the Affordable Care Act (“ACA“) a/k/a “Obamacare,” and said that media figures like himself had no responsibility to counter Republican lies about the ACA. Well, President Obama answered Chuck Todd and the Republican lie machine yesterday with a blazing speech at Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Maryland (see video above). Some of the highlights from President Obama’s speech were as follows:

The three realities that could destroy the Republican Party

Messaging Matters2

Republicans seem to be enjoying this week of small shiny “scandals.” They’d better celebrate while they can, because there are three realities that, if unaddressed, could effectively kill the Republican Party’s national success:

The Republican Supreme Court’s Voting Wrongs

Messaging Matters2

Incredibly, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is under attack, and that attack has made its way all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court. Perhaps not so incredibly, some of the right wing Republican justices who hold a 5-4 majority on the Supreme Court trashed the Voting Rights Act during oral arguments today. The grand trash prize goes to Justice Antonin Scalia, who, during the argument, called the Voting Rights Act a “perpetuation of racial entitlement.” Scalia was joined by fellow Republicans Anthony Kennedy, who said that “times change” (implying that one or more sections of the Act may have outlived their usefulness), and Chief Justice John Roberts, who stated similarly that “things have changed in the South.”

The Republicans’ Hurricane Sandy problem

Multistate disasters like Hurricane Sandy, which is currently battering the Northeast, present a big problem for the Republican Party and its anti-government ideology. Here’s why:

How to Beat the Republicans on the “Government” Issue

Republicans have been running against “government” at least since Ronald Reagan‘s 1980 presidential campaign. Willard Romney fired the latest salvo in the Republican War On Government last Friday when he stated that we should not have “more firemen, more policemen, more teachers,” as President Obama wants, but rather, we should “get the message of Wisconsin” (referring to Governor Scott Walker‘s victory in his recent recall election) and “cut back” on these essential public servants. Some pundits called Romney’s statement a “gaffe”, and even Governor Walker, who targeted public employee unions in Wisconsin after taking office, disagreed with Romney.

Apparently, Romney’s gaffe was in going from the general Republican talking point (attacking “government” or “unions”) to the specific (targeting teachers, cops and firefighters, many of whom are beloved in their communities, for firing). California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger learned a similar lesson in his first year of office, and the rest of his time as Governor was doomed. The lesson is that a good talking point, which can be made in the most general terms, does not always translate to a successful specific policy. This indicates that, when Republicans spew the usual talking points attacking “government” and “government workers”, we should put Republicans on the spot by asking them which specific programs and which specific workers they would cut.

We should:

President Obama Takes it to the Republicans

Mark the beginning of April as the time President Obama amped up his campaign rhetoric against the Republicans to a new level. First, on April 2, President Obama, as shown in the above video, turned the tables on the Republicans’ long-running charges of “judicial activism” against judges appointed by or aligned with Democrats, and said that if the conservative-controlled U.S. Supreme Court overturns the Affordable Care Act or its health insurance mandate provision, that would be “judicial activism”.

Then, on April 3, President Obama came out swinging against Republican Congressman Paul Ryan‘s budget plan, and, by extension, the entire Republican philosophy of “trickle-down economics.” According to President Obama, the Republican plan, containing more tax cuts for the wealthy and drastic spending cuts for lower income Americans, “is thinly veiled social Darwinism.”

In both of these cases, President Obama followed Messaging Maxim #1: Go On Offense. It was a page taken from the Republican playbook, and it may well be extremely effective.

 

Fox “News” Busted Trying to Slant News — Part One

As this piece from Crooks and Liars last December indicates, a leaked email from Fox “News” Washington Managing Editor Bill Sammon demonstrates how Fox deliberately and calculatedly uses language to slant news stories in favor of Republicans and/or against President Obama and the Democrats.

The issue was health care and, in 2009, Republican language guru Frank Luntz (a name you will likely hear a lot on this blog) advised Fox’s Sean Hannity to use the label “government option” in place of the Democrats’ “public option” proposal, because, according to Luntz, that simple one-word change caused a shift in voter reaction against the public option.  According to Crooks and Liars, Sammon picked up on this advice and sent an email instructing Fox employees: “Please use the term ‘government-run health insurance’ or, when brevity is a concern, ‘government option,’ whenever possible”.

This is why mentions of “Fox ‘News’” will appear in quotes in this blog. It isn’t a news organization. It is the propaganda arm of the Republican Party.