Thursday, December 5

"Affordable, quality health care" was focus-group tested as being the best slogan

You may have heard that a handful of Americans--a paltry 5 million or so--have been notified that their health insurance will be cancelled because it doesn't meet the "minimum standards" set by the Almighty Government--including maternity care and birth control for seniors, and substance-abuse counseling.  They're being forced to buy new policies at premiums roughly 80 percent higher than the cost of their old policies.

You may also have heard that this result was predicted by critics of the bill, since you can't provide "free" health insurance for 30 million folks who don't have it unless you have a huge pot of money--which was always intended to be taken from people who could afford to pay for their health insurance.

But of course, if King Barack and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi had been honest about that with the public, they might not have been able to pass the thing.

The solution?  Find a snappy, feel-good sound-bite that Democrats and the media could repeat endlessly. 

The line was “affordable, quality health care,” a  focus-group tested message designed in the shop of pollster Celinda Lake to reassure the public that what Obama and the Democrats had in mind would save them money and wouldn't be coercive.

No one on the Democrat side seemed too concerned about whether this was actually true. 

The Dems knew it was vital that the public not see the proposed law as leading to “socialized medicine” since that would probably stir up opposition.  Pollster Lake advised her clients to use this message:

Health care reform will give you the freedom of choice to keep your current plan--including keeping your current doctor--or to choose another private plan, or a quality affordable public health insurance plan.  Health care will be affordable—it will cost less and cover more. It will be a uniquely American solution that gives you peace of mind knowing you will have quality, affordable health care.
This frame was effective, said Lake, because it satisfied the public’s goals for reform such as choice of keeping your current plan and doctor, affordability and finding a uniquely American solution.” how is it that the actual *law* provided that Americans wouldn't be allowed to keep their existing policies or their doctor?  How is it that the cost of insurance went *up* instead of down?

Well gee, Sparky, that's a big mystery.  It can't possibly be that Team Obama didn't *want* these results, because that would mean they were just horribly incompetent, and no one wanted to believe that.  But if they wanted this outcome, wouldn't that mean they were really trying to fuck over the public in pursuit of their goals?

Why yes, yes it would.

I don't know which of these explanations is better for the Democrats.


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