I have complained for two years that Democrats and the Obama Administration barely bothered to promote the Affordable Care Act once it was passed. I suppose that was because in 2010, with the Tea Party rising, they thought it was probably best to not talk about it - even while many parts of the law were being put in place.
Opinion surveys show that most Americans actually like many parts of Obamacare – when they are informed about them. But most people are against the mandate. The trouble is that very few Americans know about the parts of Obamacare they would probably like.
Media Matters for America has an article that shows why people are so misinformed on the Affordable Care Act. Here are some snippets from the article and a link to the entire piece, which can be read in full here:
The individual mandate was invented by the conservative Heritage Foundation and supported by Republicans. The idea of a mandate was introduced in a 1989 Heritage Foundation brief titled “Assuring Affordable Health Care for All Americans,” as a counterpoint to the single-payer system and the employer mandate, which were favored by Democrats.
Law professors are unable to find even a hint of the constitutional objection before Obama’s election. Andrew Koppelman, a law professor at Northwestern University wrote in Salon: “The constitutional limits that the bill supposedly disregarded could not have been anticipated because they did not exist while the bill was being written. They were invented only in the fall of 2009, quite late in the legislative process.”
More courts have upheld the law than overturned it, but 84% of broadcast and cable segments reported on rulings striking down the law. In contrast, 10 percent of segments (just 3) reported on rulings that upheld the law.
With very little messaging from those who support Obamacare, the negative news has molded Americans’ opinions on the law – even me. According to the New York Times, $235 million has been spent on ads attacking the law since its passage in March 2010. Only $69 million has been spent on advertising supporting it.
I hear how The Affordable Care Act is a “job killing bill” and “it’s a government takeover of health care”, and it makes me question my support. I don’t really know what “job killing bill” means, since I think it will help create jobs and allow more people to retire early because they can get health insurance on their own. I know it is not a “government takeover” because it leaves insurance companies in charge of paying people’s medical bills – and collecting billions of dollars in premiums – and making very good profits.
The battle over messaging around Obamacare wasn’t lost – it was never even fought. I guess those in favor of the Affordable Care Act thought the Supreme Court would put aside politics, and rule based on the precedents established around similar issues in the case. Too bad that’s probably not going to happen. We’ll see on Thursday.