It’s sad when I, a Democrat (sort of) have to show Republicans how to fight their own battles. From the very beginning of this debate over healthcare reform, I’ve been disgusted at the cheap and counterproductive attacks by mainstream Republicans on “Obamacare”. Not because I support “Obamacare”. I’m actually very much opposed to this, and would love for the Republicans to have formed a competent opposition. But they failed miserably, and continue to do so. I would therefore like to make a list of the top 5 most incompetent and counter-productive lines of attack by Republicans on “Obamacare”.
5. Warning that this will create a new “entitlement” and a new dependent class. I’ll admit this is not totally absurd. However, like it or not, Americans love their entitlements, yes, even the “tea party” crowd. Most Americans are not going to be persuaded to oppose a bill that they believe will help them to better afford healthcare. With that said, this is NOT an entitlement, and if anything, the Republicans’ misrepresentation of this bill actually shifted public opinion in favor of it.
4. Recent efforts to claim that it’s failing (not enough enrollment) This completely contradicts #5 above! You can’t have it both ways. If you’re going to complain that this will create a large underclass of dependent health subsidy recipients, don’t also complain that not enough people are taking part in this! There can’t be too many people, and not enough people, all at the same time!
3. The poor health insurance companies What were they thinking?! I don’t hear this one so much lately, but when this was still working its way through Congress, Republicans whined of how the poor insurance companies were being demonized and how they would not be able to meet the demands of “Obamacare”.
2. Personal Fear Tactics Whether the death panels, or Uncle Sam with a stethoscope, these claims really just made Republicans look foolish. Furthermore, that had nothing to do with what this bill was really about – health insurance. Even though we call it “healthcare reform”, it really has little direct effect on the actual doctors and hospitals in providing care. It does strongly affect how they are paid, however.
1. The Red Card! Did it ever occur to these blistering idiots that denouncing Obamacare as “socialism”, or “government take-over of healthcare” would only make it more popular? Don’t they realize that the potential opposition from the left, mainly progressives and even genuine socialists, are more likely to support this if they think it IS socialism? It had the effect of reverse psychology. By calling it “socialism”, they ensured that every Democrat who may have opposed it would rally behind it.
I could also add that Republicans took their time offering any kind of alternative, but instead, I’m going to offer the Republicans an alternative in their PR strategy. Listen up you GOP-heads. Here’s how it’s done.
Obamacare is the worst possible way to reform health care in this country. It forces ordinary Americans to buy insurance from a private, for-profit company, and makes little to no effort to ensure that these private companies will actually provide health insurance that is affordable. If health insurance is expensive now, imagine how much more expensive it will be when these greedy health insurance companies know that Americans must buy it, or else! The last thing we should do is further empower the health insurance industry. When Obama tells you that he’s putting you, the patient, in the driver seat, he’s telling a bold face lie. You’re not in the driver seat. Your elected government is not in the driver’s seat. Nor is your doctor, or the nurses, or even the CEO’s of the hospitals. No! A greedy CEO of a health insurance company is in the driver seat, and the only way to kick him out is to pay more taxes!
There, you FOX news addicted, red bating, incompetent “party of no”. That’s how it’s done. And if you had taken that line, I guarantee, a good chunk of the Democratic Progressive Caucus would have joined you in opposition. I know they’re strange bed-fellows, but hey, it would have worked. But thanks to your tired Cold War leftovers, we’re stuck with “Obamacare” now.
P.S. and one more thing, stop calling everything you are against “socialism”.