Calling Don Draper, Donny Deutsch, and the spirit of David Ogilvy: the President needs you.

The President must sell the Affordable Care Act to the American people now that Justice Roberts wrote the Supreme Court’s historic 5-4 majority opinion supporting the Act, and especially the individual mandate. He argued for the majority that while the mandate is unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause which would “command people to buy insurance,” he said that the mandate is a de facto tax, as people who would choose to opt out of insurance would have an alternative of paying an IRS fine.

Senator Eric Cantor tweeted one hour after the SCOTUS decision as follows: @EricCantor: The House will vote to fully repeal Obamacare on July 11.

Now the heavy lifting of selling — er, re-selling — the Affordable Care Act begins.

The hard truth is that the White House and ACA advocates did a poor job marketing the plan while detractors of so-called Obamacare spent $250 million compared with pro-ACA spending of $75 million, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Health Populi’s Hot Points: The President’s post-SCOTUS decision statement today timed in at a mere few minutes, saying that the decision was “a health care victory for people all over this country.” It’s time for us to move forward, he said.

A Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 37% of Americans do not believe the law would change their lives. 31% believe they’ll be worse off, and 23% see themselves as being better off with the law.

The President has the opportunity to impact at least the 37% of Americans who feel like the law won’t impact them at all. It will: it will impact the entire nation, by moving primary care to the top of the health agenda, funding innovation in Medicare, and removing barriers to access for preventive services, among other provisions.

But these details haven’t been well-communicated or couched in language that speaks to people in their homes and in their daily lives. Time for the social marketers and health behavior experts to come together and inspire health and health insurance literacy.

8 Comments on The selling of a health plan, part two

Adam Abraham said : Guest Report 9 years ago

I was very amazed. I very much thought about Chief? Justice Roberts would dissent, but he actually upheld it. I very much respect Roberts for looking at this constitutionally, not party-wise. thanks for the nice blogging as i always found innovative post from your site. senior care Washington

David Hopkins said : Guest Report 9 years ago

You are badly misinformed, Anne. 1. There is nothing in the ACA that rations care. True, Medicare will have to find some way to cut its costs, but that is inevitable with our without the ACA, just the reality of the unsustainable costs of health care today. 2. Premiums are definitely lower for people with expensive health conditions and should be lower for the general public due to the state-sponsored health benefits exchanges. 3. Nowhere does it say you can't keep seeing your own physician and there is nothing in the law to prevent that. 4. The only individuals who will be paying a "tax" are those who today are not buying health insurance and depending on the rest of us to pay for them when they get sick. I don't think this is fair to the rest of us, but maybe you do. It is very troubling how many people have been brainwashed by the opposition without bothering to check their facts. Yes, we are being lied to, but not by those whom you think are lying.

Mike McSweeney said : Guest Report 9 years ago

Have you seen the cost of health care? It is crazy high. I believe in part because there are so many uninsured and underinsured users of the system. Ethically, you cannot turn someone away from the E/R that is in need of medical help. The costs have to be passed on somewhere. The system was clearly broken and unsustainable. Something had to be done. So, whether it is a tax or a penalty, I applaud the Congress that enacted ACA and the President. Since everyone eventually needs healthcare everyone should pitch in to cover the costs. Let's see where this plan goes...

Anne Nowlin said : Guest Report 9 years ago

"The President must sell the Affordable Care Act to the American people now that Justice Roberts wrote the Supreme Court’s historic 5-4 majority opinion supporting the Act, and especially the individual mandate. " That's a big sales job, as he must also sell the biggest tax increase in American history to cover it. In theory, the plan sounds good: cover everyone, offer them everything, lower premiums. EXCEPT it: 1. doesn't cover everyone 2. does ration care 3. no lower premiums 4. requires the largest tax increase when he promised QUITE the opposite and you could continue to see your own physician. Do I hear the need for some 'splaining to do about the fraud that was perpetrated on the American people? "It ISN'T a tax." So Congress passes it (knowing full well thet it IS a tax), but the American people don't know it-THEY THINK IT'S A PENALTY (Nancy Pelosi's infamous quote about having to pass the bill to know what's in it.) This lady for one never bought into it, but none-the-less, doesn't like being lied to.

Anne Nowlin said : Guest Report 9 years ago

"The President must sell the Affordable Care Act to the American people now that Justice Roberts wrote the Supreme Court’s historic 5-4 majority opinion supporting the Act, and especially the individual mandate. " That's a big sales job, as he must also sell the biggest tax increase in American history to cover it. In theory, the plan sounds good: cover everyone, offer them everything, lower premiums. EXCEPT it: 1. doesn't cover everyone 2. does ration care 3. no lower premiums 4. requires the largest tax increase when he promised QUITE the opposite and you could continue to see your own physician. Do I hear the need for some 'spraining to do about the fraud that was perpetrated on the American people? "It ISN'T a tax." So Congress passes it (knowing full well thet it IS a tax), but the American people don't know it-THEY THINK IT'S A PENALTY (Nancy Pelosi's infamous quote about having to pass the bill to know what's in it.) This lady for one never bought into it, but none-the-less, doesn't like being lied to.

Harm Scherpbier said : Guest Report 9 years ago

Great post Jane. I read "part two" in two ways: First, sell the orginal ACA, universal insurance coverage, again. But also, start selling "part two" of health care reform: cost reduction, bending the cost curve. I believe a strong part two with focus on lowering costs for all Americans, both for individuals and also for business, may actually gain support from those who didn't like part one. Maybe?

Harris Tom said : Guest Report 9 years ago

I came across your blog, and found your information on the current politics affecting healthcare very interesting. You understand the power of using social media to provide reliable health knowledge and I highly recommend you check out healthtap.com as a complement to your blog.

Trisha Torrey said : Guest Report 9 years ago

Jane, Well explained - that what we have here is less a failure to find consensus on a law; rather a failure to communicate its benefits to make them understandable. It's not that we can't understand the basic tenets of the law. It's that most Americans just don't see how that translates to their daily lives. It truly will take a miracle communicator to get that across. The problem is - people who don't want to buy health insurance also don't think they will ever need it. It's really as simple as that. They think they are bullet proof and they are ostriches about the cost of uninsured care. The real "sale" will come at the point where they've been rushed to the ER, badly hurt, or when their child is born with a genetic abnormality which blindsides them, or they are diagnosed with a chronic condition that (of course) they never expected to get. A large dose of reality will finally create that "aha" moment. I've often said that my patient empowerment work is a bit like selling life insurance - no one ever thinks they'll need it until they are almost ineligible for it. The ACA is tinged with that reality, too. Thanks for the clear explanation about the need for communication. It could be that this was never really about a law at all. Trisha Torrey Every Patient's Advocate About.com Guide to Patient Empowerment

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