If You Like Your Health Care Plan, You Can Keep ItNovember 14, 2013
The plan from the beginning was clear: utilize the Affordable Care Act to collapse private insurance while simultaneously blaming the industry for the inevitable blow-back, empower the federal government to swoop in to fix the "coverage emergency," and bring about single payer as a necessary rescue.
Thus President Obama and Democrats knew that millions of insurance polices would be canceled as a direct result of Obamacare, as this was the intention -- and the CBO already confirmed it would happen. What they missed, however, was the outrage that even the mainstream media can't ignore -- the anger and confusion coming from millions of citizens losing that insurance who now have no recourse. They've lost the coverage they had, and they face a mandate to purchase new, higher-priced coverage by early 2014 on a Web site that crashes on a good day and leaks their personal information on a bad one. These folks view their own plight through the lens of continued delays and waivers, bad news, and poor enrollment numbers -- and they see a health care system that was working for them mauled apart, seemingly on purpose, by President Obama and their elected representatives in Congress. They're angry not only because of what's happening but also because Mr. Obama lied to them about it, over and over again. Mr. Obama insisted in speech after speech that "if you like your health insurance plan, you can keep your plan" - without exception, without qualifier.
And so Obamacare -- the President's long-embraced namesake -- is today a shambles. The PR plan was to marginalize, to ridicule, to make a pariah the entire insurance industry before millions of cancellation notices arrived in mailboxes all over America. The Administration would talk to the people through op-eds, television, and the Internet, working meticulously to turn public opinion against the insurance companies, to ensure Americans blamed not Obamacare but the insurance companies themselves for higher prices and canceled policies, making the insurance industry less popular than even the government itself. People would not associate these problems with the Affordable Care Act and would in fact look to the government for a solution -- a single-payer solution perhaps. Because of the government's ailures, however -- a Web site that doesn't work and can't be trusted, a toll-free hotline that refers callers to the Web site, and insurance policies that don't meet people's needs and aren't affordable -- and because of the bad press aimed squarely at the Administration over the entire ACA debacle -- the rapidly growing view among the electorate, and the correct view, is that the federal government is the villain here. And while people don't necessarily like insurance companies, they view them, in this case, as closer to the people on this issue than to the government.
Unless the Administration can find a way to reverse the feeding frenzy and flip public opinion, Obamacare is doomed -- as are a number of Democrats' re-election hopes in 2014.
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