Yesterday, I had a discussion with a friend who was very upset and angry about the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). After a minute or so of listening to her rant, it was amply clear that she had no idea what the law actually included.
Not wanting to go through summer listening to histrionic tirades about things that aren't even real -- e.g. Death Panels, I decided to respond instead of just letting it go.
To my amazement, the approach I used worked!
I posted my best effort to capture the exchange as a comment, and per requests, here's a diary on it.
As she started in on how rotten Obamacare is ... looked at her and said:
Well, I like it. I am damn tired of subsidizing and paying for the free loaders who don't pay for insurance and just go to the ER when they get sick or hurt. I say it's about time someone made those damn freeloaders pay their fair share instead of us paying higher premiums and higher taxes to cover their care.That got a slack jawed look of confusion, so I followed it up with a list of the good stuff along the lines of:
Yeah, you and I won't be affected at all ... oh, except for maybe getting a rebate check each August if the insurance company doesn't spend at least 80% of what we pay'em actually paying for medical care for us ... oh, and your son will get to stay on your coverage until he's 26, no pre-existing condition shit anymore, we can't get dumped anymore either if we get sick, no lifetime caps anymore ... good stuff like that. It's just the damn freeloaders who can afford to pay but don't are finally going to have some personal responsibility.As long as I kept using the phrase, "damn free-loaders being made to pay their fairshare," I was able to explain the real,main parts of the law!
We even got to the "death panels," and I explained that:
some idiot ... I think it was Palin ... started calling having living will discussion with your own doctor. Originally, the law was trying to give us this kind of doctor's visit as a new benefit that would get covered (Iit isn't now - you have to pay for that kind of visit completely out-of-pocket) ... But NOOOO, that idiot started making out that it was some sort of crazy gov conspiracy Death Panel - scaring people with bizarre shit like the government is out to kill all our grandparents ... So, unfortunately that benefit got left out.On and on we went actually discussing the REAL aspects of the law. Being able to change jobs without fear about losing your insurance, and we even covered that SHE would not be taxed to provide the subsidies ... It turned out to be a very nice conversation. My friend went from being confused to flumoxed to nodding to angry, once again.
Only, by the time we were done she wasn't angry at Obamacare; she was angry at Fox News, now, for being so misleading. (I'm going to send her the research about how watching partisan news outlets alone can really mess with your head -- best to stay with a strong dose of NPR and The Daily Show.)
As Radiowalla (HT) pointed out, Healthcare Freeloaders = welfare queens ... I had just kind of desperately wanted to find some way into my friend's way of thinking and the damn healthcare freeloader phrase was like a key in a fraudulent lock that got forged long ago.
Another (HT) to Bensdad for his "good parts" of the bill list:
1. Insurance will be cheaper because everyone will be required to have it.I know it's only a test sample of ONE, but it worked. I like Obamacare because it's going to make the damn healthcare FREELOADERS finally pay their fair share.
2. You can keep your current insurance if you like it.
3. No taxpayer dollars. You pay your share of the policy premiums just like now. But it will be lower.
4. In fact, if anyone who can afford insurance freeloads, they have to pay a tax.
5. If you can't afford insurance, you will get help, so you can.
6. Your adult kids can stay on the policy until 26, so they will be insured while in college or pursuing a career.
7. Not government-run healthcare! It's free market! The government just requires you to have it. Your relationship with your doctor stays the same.
8. Don't like the insurance through your employment or want to change jobs but are afraid to lose your insurance? There will be affordable plans for you to choose from (created by demand). You can change jobs if you want.
9.Near retirement but too young for Medicare? The Feds give money to your employer to supplement your health care insurance in retirement, if they offer such a benefit to you already.
10. Got a preexisting condition? Insurance companies think we all do. It doesn't matter. They have to insure you.
11. If insurance companies charge too much in so-called administrative fees and other things not related to healh care, they have to refund it to you.
If it helps get us all talking about what is actually in the actual law, it's worth the try.
We can sell this, folks. Yes, We Can. One person at a time, let's spread the news. :)
4:27 PM PT: Update: I want to make it VERY clear that a "damned healthcare freeloader" is NOT a poor person or any of the people that the insurance companies have either kicked out or priced out of the system. They are the 1% making more than 400% of the poverty level ($44K individual & $88K family). And YES, my friend did GET it. We have a well off friend who like to drink their fill at the bar and skip out stiffing us with his part of the bar bill. I used him as the example of the "damn free loaders."
My friend is not dumb or racist or particularly cruel. She was just fine with the poor getting help ... as long as she was not going to be hurt and the "damn freeloaders who could pay" were going to be made to pay their fair share.
These are the folks I think we can pull away from Wing Nutty Land ... using this sales lead. Hope this helps.