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Republicans are famed for their ability to create 2 or 3 word slogans that provide a frame for a public policy debate around a carefully crafted and focus-grouped terms.  Some famous examples are "Nest egg" which was widely used in the Bush War on Social Security.  "Weapons of Mass Destruction" in the run-up to the Iraq War.  "Clean Skies Initiative" when attacking the EPA.  "Government takeover" when fighting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Mr. Frank Luntz has been the leading proponent of this framing war with Democrats everywhere, and he is undoubtedly a master of the trade, without peer on the right or left side of the political continuum.

The Republicans are about to experience a failure of framing of epic proportions, and it is likely to last for 75 years or more.  The term in question is Obamacare.

Ever since President Obama was elected, the Republicans have chosen to fight the PPACA and they have chosen to frame it as Obamacare, taking a cue from their successful fight 20 years ago against what they dubbed Hillarycare.  The Clinton administration health care initiative was effectively fought and defeated by the Republicans, which demonstrates, now, a 30 year Republican opposition to the thought that the American people have a right to at least a minimal level of health care, preventive services, prenatal care for mothers, cancer screening for all, coverage of pre-existing conditions and all the other things that people in nearly every other industrialized nation on earth accept and take for granted that health care will be there when it is needed.

Now, for over 5 years the Republicans have been screaming Obamacare!  Obamacare!  Government takeover!  Death Panels!  Rationing! and any other illogical or even irrational argument against first the legislation while it was being enacted, then, for the last 4 years as its provisions have been being implemented, slowly at first, then accelerating, with near-full implementation beginning next week.  All the while, the Republican sound machine has been screaming Obamacare!  Fear!  Beware Obamacare!  Watch out for Obamacare!

And yet, at each stage of implementation, first the coverage of pre-existing conditions for children, the allowance of up to 26 year-olds to stay on their parent's coverage, and several other less well-known elements.  Each time one of these were implemented, the Republicans and even the insurance companies, decided that the items being implemented weren't so bad after all.  When seniors who get a $250 check back because Obamacare has begun to close the donut hole in drug coverage, we didn't hear very much from the Republicans about Obamacare.  One must remember that the Republicans created the donut hole with their ill-conceived and poorly executed Medicare Part D legislation signed into law by President Bush.  We don't hear very much from the Republicans when the insurance companies, for the second year in a row, have had to rebate back to the policy holders, over $1 billion in excess profits above the care ratios established in Obamacare.

We must remember that the purpose of framing is to get the opposite side to buy into the frame, and by doing this, it reinforces the frame in the minds of both sides of the debate.  We have to remember this when the Republicans fail to repeal, and fail to de-fund the PPACA or as the Republicans are fond of saying, Obamacare.

The frame is now Obamacare.  It is reinforced in the right, left and center? media, nearly every hour of each and every day.  And next Tuesday, Obamacare will start the final phase of its mass implementation, with the exception of some tax treatments, which will actually benefit both employers and insured individuals over the long term.

The full implementation of Obamacare, it's OK to say it, it's Obamacare, will, like Sam I Am, the American people will find that they like Obamacare because it provides better health care at lower cost.  It will create 25 to 30 million new paying customers for doctors, hospitals, clinics, surgical centers.  It will create jobs in hospital construction (many have already been created).  It will create the need for hundreds of thousands of nurses, administrators, orderlies, medical technicians, teachers at medical and nursing schools.  And it will all be credited, yes credited, not blamed on Obamacare.

And this frame, "Obamacare" will be in play for 75 or more years, and each November, voters will be reminded that they are better off, have a stronger economy, have more and better access to preventive care, to care for illnesses, and better health outcomes, and we can credit Obamacare.  

The Obamacare frame is now being etched into the mind of every American, the outcome will be positive, Americans will like it, and Americans will remember who voted 42 times and counting to repeal it, to defund it, and they will remember who stood at the door of the hospital to deny American's right to affordable health care.  And those who stood at the door to the hospital will find themselves without jobs as the Obamacare frame becomes a massive boomerang that causes the Republicans to adapt or become the Whigs, an extinct political party.

Originally posted to Ohiodem1 on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 08:47 PM PDT.

Also republished by Central Ohio Kossacks and ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

    by Ohiodem1 on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 08:47:23 PM PDT

  •  Not many readers at midnight, I'll check back to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    respond to comments about 6:30 AM Eastern in the morning.

    Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

    by Ohiodem1 on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 08:57:39 PM PDT

  •  In just a few years (maybe as soon as 2016), (7+ / 0-)

    Republicans will be representing themselves as the protectors of Obamacare - even taking credit for its creation. They will spin their utter opposition and obstruction of it as 'working tirelessly to improve it', and counting on (as usual) credulous dopes who will unquestioningly accept every lie as the truth.

    I'm not locked up in here with you. YOU'RE locked up in here with ME.

    by Fordmandalay on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 09:13:25 PM PDT

  •  If the gop really and truly thought (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that "obamacare" was that bad,
    they'd welcome it, so that its TerribleAwfulness could be
    used to politically enhance their chances in '14 and '16.

    ....note that this is not the case with them.....

  •  The terrible Obamacare will now enter history as (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trkingmomoe, ColoTim, a2nite, Ohiodem1

    a nightmare for the GOP, Tea Party and a caring gentle support for the millions of Americans who can stop begging for health care.  As they hated Social Security so they have hated Obamacare and that is the story that will be told.  The GOP, Tea Party are unfit to govern or to be the weakest of the loyal opposition, the ash heap of history awaits their well deserved demise.

  •  Bill Kristol laid out the Republican strategy (5+ / 0-)

    against "Hllarycare" in 1993, predicting

       Passage of care plan, in any form, would guarantee and likely make permanent...the largest federal entitlement program since Social Security. Its success would signal a rebirth of centralized welfare-state policy at the very moment we have begun rolling back that idea in other areas.

        But the...proposal is also a serious political threat to the Republican Party...It will revive the reputation of the party that spends and regulates, the Democrats, as the generous protector of middle-class interests. And it will at the same time strike a punishing blow against Republican claims to defend the middle class by restraining government.

    The sum of all GOP fears

    However, in 1994 Democrats refused to support the weakened compromise bill that emerged after the Republican sabotage campaign. This time, Democrats held their noses and voted Obamacare in, with its virtues and its faults both.

    The ever louder, shriller, and nastier Republican campaign to repeal and now defund Obamacare, and to take down the government and the economy if they don't get their way, shows that Republicans understand what Kristol told them only too well. The problem Republicans have with Obamacare is that the parts that are in effect are working, and the rest will go into effect in the next few months. This is their last shot at selling the public a bill of goods on the supposed uselessness of government.

    It's still Reaganite Voodoo politics. Just change a word here and there. "I'm from the Republican Party, and I'm here to help," and "Government isn't the solution. Government is the problem. Here, let me take the government over and show you."

    Heckuva job, Cruzie.

    Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

    by Mokurai on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 10:54:20 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for that nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 05:06:50 AM PDT

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