With the Supreme Court’s decision on the health care law expected next week, GOP politicians and their media allies are attacking Obamacare in full force. Here's messaging to beat them.
ATTACKS AND RESPONSES
ATTACK: "The American people hate Obamacare.”
- Actually, polls have consistently shown that the majority of Americans think Obamacare is an improvement -- that it makes American health care better. That's because a lot of people think the health law doesn't go far enough or isn’t liberal enough -- and if you include them, the polling shows just that.
- And when Americans learn what the health law actually does -- like preventing insurance companies from denying people with pre-existing conditions or dropping them when they get sick -- they strongly support it.
- That consistent view -- that Obamacare made American health care better -- comes despite the President's political opponents outspending the law's supporters by 3-1 on attack ads. Not to mention the media repeating their false spin.
- What's universally unpopular is the health care system we had before -- Americans overwhelmingly agree it was broken. Now more Americans want to keep or expand the health care law than repeal it.
ATTACK: "Obamacare is a government takeover."
- It's about time we had someone on our side. Insurance companies have had free reign at our expense for long enough.
- The health care law holds insurance companies accountable and ends their practices of denying and dropping coverage just when you need it the most.
- Opponents of the law are siding with the insurance companies that donate to their campaigns and oppose the law because they don’t want to have to cover people with pre-existing conditions.
- It’s time to move forward -- we can’t afford to put insurance companies back in charge.
ATTACK: "Obamacare increases the deficit."
- Actually, the health law reduces the deficit.
- Here's how: The health law cracks down on waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare, ends billions in taxpayer handouts to insurance companies, and expands smart preventive care so doctors can detect illnesses early, before they get more expensive to treat.
- So repealing Obamacare would increase the deficit. Take it from the nonpartisan authorities required by law to be objective.
ATTACK: "Obamacare will increase costs."
- The health care law holds down health care costs by capping the amount of our premium money insurance companies can siphon off for marketing and padding profits. The law also allows small businesses to band together to get the same lower insurance rates as big corporations.
- The law also lowers patients' costs with common-sense measures that hold down everyone's costs in the long run: eliminating co-pays for check-ups, providing free preventive care, and lowering prescription drug costs for seniors.
- An overwhelming majority of Americans are worried about paying for health care, but Republican politicians would let the insurance companies go back to charging us whatever they want and siphoning off our premium dollars for marketing and CEO bonuses instead of our health care.
- The health care law does essentially everything experts say we need to do to hold down health care costs. Going back to the old broken system only means we'll all have to pay more.
ATTACK: "Obamacare cuts Medicare by $500 billion."
- Here's the truth: The law does not cut Medicare benefits, period. Instead, Obamacare cuts waste and abuse out of Medicare to make sure older Americans and taxpayers aren't getting ripped off.
- The law's political opponents are just trying to confuse people into thinking Medicare benefits would be harmed, but they are not affected at all.
- The real threat to Medicare is the Republican plan to end Medicare as we know it by replacing its guaranteed benefits with a privatized voucher program.
- If Republican politicians really wanted to protect Medicare, guess what? They’d support the health care law. It’s already doing it.
ATTACK: "Obamacare has death panels."
- Republican leaders quietly admit that private insurers are the ones that "ration care for profit," but they're trying to put the insurance companies back in charge anyway because that’s who funds their campaigns.
- Obamacare keeps insurance companies from getting in between patients and doctors. The health law also creates a taxpayer protection board to make sure seniors and taxpayers aren't getting ripped off by fraudulent providers and corporate lobbyists.
- This taxpayer protection board will make recommendations to cut waste from Medicare without reducing benefits. Its job is to do what's best for patients -- not politics or whose lobbyists spend the most money in Washington.
- By law, it cannot ration care, increase taxes, or make changes to Medicare benefits.
We develop messaging by aggregating, analyzing and distilling polling, tested messaging, and expert recommendations, and monitoring the media to identify what is and isn't working. See here for some of the experts and organizations we draw on.