Andrew Prokop observes that hardly any campaign ads defend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act directly. I’m not surprised. The name Obamacare frames the issue as Obama rather than past problems with America’s healthcare system. In a sense, I’m glad there are no ads defending Obamacare: that name deserves no defense. Every TV ad I’ve seen for a Republican candidate says he wants to repeal Obamacare.
As I’ve said before, supporters of the law and/or President Obama should call the law by its name or shorten it to the Patient Protection Act and talk about how it protects the rights and health of patients. I continue to beat this drum because it’s so important to the mid-term election.
Do you know of any pro-Patient Protection Act ads? I’d love to see them!
As you can see, the term directs attention away from the law’s moral purposes and toward Barack Obama the man. Continuing to call the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Obamacare encourages this sort of thinking and behavior.
“The Nebraska Democratic Party believes that affordable, accessible, quality health care is a basic human right.”
The Nebraska Democratic Party is asking the candidate to pull this ad. While the party’s statement deplores the violence against an image of the president, it does not mention the party’s platform position on the moral issue of access to health insurance: that “affordable, accessible, quality health care is a basic human right” (p. 39).
I wish it would. Why isn’t this truth being shouted from the housetops? Do you know?
This refers to the expectation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that Americans that do not already have health insurance get it. Those that remain uninsured would pay a fine.
I think that supporters of the PPACA should avoid this phrase because it frames the expectation as big, bad government forcing people to do what they don’t want to do.
What if instead we frame having adequate health insurance as a civic duty? This duty helps ensure that all Americans can get the medical care we need . When we all have health insurance, we are taking care of both ourselves and our fellow Americans. That is right and responsible.
Shirking this duty would mean risking leaving medical bills unpaid and bankruptcy for ourselves. It also could mean higher costs for everyone else. This would be reckless and unfair. Because shirking imposes costs on others, it’s fair to charge a fine.
Instead of calling this part of PPACA the individual mandate, here are some potential alternatives:
The expectation of having health insurance (or health insurance expectation)
The duty of having health insurance (or health insurance duty)
The coverage expectation
What do you think this responsibility should be called?
An abbreviation of the name of the new healthcare law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, this phrase defines the issue as the affordability of medical care. Use of this abbreviation has helped sow doubt about the law’s value following media reports that, while many Americans can expect lower health insurance premiums, others may see higher premiums.
Supporters should avoid calling the law by this name. Instead, when shortening the name, use the first two words, the Patient Protection Act. This directs the hearer’s attention away from money and toward the law’s moral mission: protecting Americans from abuse by health-insurance companies and from bankruptcy and other injury due to lack of adequate health insurance. This moral mission is what the law’s supporters should talk about.
I think it’s unwise to call the law Obamacare and will post about that this week.