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View Diary: Taunter shreds health insurers' claims that rescission is rare (195 comments)

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  •  Our narrative has to be the (31+ / 0-)

    stories - individuals who can't get insurance, who have been dumped, who are having claims denied, who are being denied specific treatments by insurance company bureaucrats.

    I need to understand the numbers, and I thank you for this great diary, but the public will only be captivated by personal stories.

    Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war. - A. Einstein

    by I love OCD on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 08:12:50 AM PDT

    •  That's exaclty it too. (27+ / 0-)

      I came across the old "socialism" talking point a lot while canvassing in 2008.

      (The funny thing to me is that most people don't even know what it means, they just know they hear it on the news in a derogatory tone, so it must be bad.)  

      Anyway, after telling people my medical history, and explaining to them why I believe we should have universal health care in our country, not only did not a single person disagree with me, every single person I spoke to either had a health care horror story of their own to tell, or a story of someone they knew.

      The health care debate is really something that needs to be addressed on a personal, emotional level, because everyone can relate to it. Everyone.

      I think that our party leaders have been going at the debate in the complete wrong way. It's all statistics and 47 million, and it's all too big to grasp. They make it seem like it's simply too big to address.

      What they need to do is start relaying the individual horror stories that the millions of Americans are living, or didn't survive. They need to capture people's attentions with the drama of it all, tug on their heart strings with the obvious injustice that is our current private health care industry.

      As it sits, the debate is so abstract, people don't really understand or care what they're talking about.. They need to make them care.

      They should be showing tons of pictures and videos of sick children that have been denied care, and maybe some orphaned kids that lost a parent that was denied medical treatment... Approach it like a reality tv show or something. Get Americans to care about their fellow citizens on a personal basis.

      An approach like that would also make it very, very difficult for the insurance industry and republicans to combat... what are they going to say, that that cute little kid deserves to be sick and die, because their parents couldn't afford to save them? That those orphans didn't need their parents anyway, so fuck em?

      The approach our party leaders is taking now just isn't working, they need to try something different.  

      "It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion." Oscar Wilde, 1891

      by MichiganGirl on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 08:31:30 AM PDT

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      •  I'm torn (4+ / 0-)

        I fear that you are right... I was recently solicited by my senator for health care "stories".  But it troubles me when the debate devolves into stories alone.

        While stories might help people put faces on the numbers, the opposition has been using stories (welfare recipients driving Cadillacs to pick up their checks) to beat down progress my whole life.  In a nation of 300M people, there are going to be fifth standard deviation "stories" that will support anything.  That's how prayer circles cure cancer - never mind the 10,000 cancers that DIDN'T spontaneously go into remission (they must not have prayed hard enough or properly or to the correct god).

        Not railing against you... I think your point is well taken and stories may be necessary... I just wish we could elevate the debate to stories AND data.  I think it would serve us.  For example, the data in this diary combined with some testimony from someone who sat in the "99th percentile desk" and systematically scrutinized applications to deny coverage to half of the people.

        You are right that it's hard to argue against stories - but that's true whether or not they support your position.  I think we need to start tearing "stories only" apart.

    •  We need numbers too, carried by stories. WHen you (15+ / 0-)

      tell a recission story, this info can be added to let people know how frighteningly common it is. People need to know they too are at risk.

      Democrats have sometimes lost elections because they talk facts and policy, but not human stories. BUt that doesn't mean we should stop talking facts. That is not the lesson.

      •  Both are needed. Absolutely. (11+ / 0-)

        And people need to understand this could happen to them or someone they care deeply about.

        Its not just about strangers -- or anonymous numbers -- anymore.

        Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -- Voltaire

        by MrSandman on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 08:48:13 AM PDT

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        •  I think that's the key (10+ / 0-)

          people need to understand this could happen to them or someone they care deeply about.

          My son, 24, has back problems, migraines, ADD. He's totally uninsurable. He's "aged off" my policy through work. He worked the first few months of the year, at a restaurant that doesn't offer insurance to employees. Now he's unemployed. Our state won't cover him because he earned some money this year. He's screwed.

          My daughter, 21, has a different set of back problems and when she ages off my policy, she'll have to either be in a job that provides insurance or she'll be uninsured like my son.

          My husband and I are in our mid-50s. We have garden-variety health issues (GERD, mild hypertension) that would make buying insurance for ourselves completely unaffordable if we should lose our jobs.

          This CAN happen to you.

        •  I think people do understand that (6+ / 0-)

          because almost everybody has had it happen to someone they know. Probably somebody in their family.

          It's touched just about EVERYBODY in one way or another.

          And while most people won't grasp the numbers, they will relate that to the kid down the street who is raising money for their kidney transplant. Or their cousin who can't quit the crap job they hate because of they'll never be able to afford insurance.

      •  I agree, it needs to be a (12+ / 0-)

        combo, but we can't win without personal stories.  The Dark Side doesn't have any valid reasons to oppose reform - they won't win friends by explaining that profit is king - so they lie, and elicit fear in their followers.  Once that wall of fear is up, facts don't get through.  Personal stories break through the wall, though, and once the wall is down, facts are also able to get through.

        Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war. - A. Einstein

        by I love OCD on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 08:49:00 AM PDT

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      •  Yes the two must be fused (11+ / 0-)

        The numeric statistical information alone is too dry and abstract, and can't galvanize people to action.  The personal anecdotes alone can muster sympathy, but have no compelling political component.  It's only by using the personal to give life and flesh to the statistical that the message can be driven home in terms of the need for thorough systemic change.

        "99% of the battles and skirmishes that we fought in Afghanistan were won by our side." ~ Marshall Akhromeyev

        by ActivistGuy on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 08:49:14 AM PDT

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        •  I don't know... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Xan, phonegery, Noor B, I love OCD

          The numbers are more galvanizing to me than anything else. But then again, I am trained in probability and statistics, and I'm not much of an emotional decision-maker, so I might not be representative. I find that using emotional tactics generally just impedes finding the correct solution to any given problem because they aren't reliable or systematic.

          Think about it: while many of us find the stories about people being killed by our broken healthcare system emotionally compelling, the wingnuts have their own emotional reasoning about why we shouldn't change anything. They're coming to an entirely different conclusion, and one that is unsupported by the numbers.

          I'd rather see policy made based on cold, hard facts. Emotional techniques are at best just a propaganda tool to get people to accept reality. But the reality exists regardless of how people feel about it. I'd rather we try to get everyone to actually deeply understand why reform is necessary, as then they aren't as susceptible to the truthy BS getting slung around (like "Obama wants to euthanize seniors", or "socialized healthcare will be rationed and based wasteful").

          •  Here's the rub: (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            adrianrf, I love OCD, StateofEuphoria

            Most people -- the VAST majority -- tend to make most decisions primarily with their right brain -- emotions, values, "gut" -- even if they think they're using data. They view the data through the lens of the worldview and life experience they carry with them.

            What you call "deeply understanding why reform is necessary," I call basing decisions on emotions and values. The numbers themselves don't make anything necessary or non-necessary; they are just numbers. It is the application of those numbers to our values-driven objectives that dictates a conclusion.

            Relax - the adults are in charge now.

            by NWTerriD on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 12:33:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree and disagree. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I agree that it's necessary to somehow engage the mass that does make decisions primarily emotionally in order to get reform through. So like I said, I can support those tactics being used as a sort of "propaganda"/marketing technique.

              And yes, I do agree that emotions are involved in forming values (such as a desire for equality). But I don't think the values are really what's up for debate right now. Most Americans, despite what you might think from watching the teabaggers, don't want the sick to die and go bankrupt.

              Instead, I think we're debating how best to design/structure a system that delivers the values we want in healthcare. THAT, I think, should be more of a rational policy decision. Some designs for a healthcare system just work better than others, objectively. So one side is just wrong, regardless of how they feel about that. We need to just start entirely disregarding the opinions of people who are wrong, in that regard, when their feelings disagree with reality.

      •  happened to me (12+ / 0-)

        my story:

        BC/BS rescinded coverage after my (now ex) second husband was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. They went back 9.5 years to find an undisclosed mental health diagnosis. They rescinded the whole family (including myself and my two kids) policy. I was under court order to provide health ins. for my kids- their Dad (first husband) took me back to court, I was found in contempt. I had seen an attorney to sue BC, but my second husband refused to sign on, which was necessary. Fun times.  

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