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Cartoon depiction of Scrooge.
Hoping to take a break from politics and get some early Christmas shopping done from the comfort of your home or office? Good luck, because now even Cyber Monday is an opportunity for the right wing to, what else, bash Democrats over Obamacare. Because nothing signals the start of the holiday season like telling people not to get health insurance as a political statement.
It's American Action Network's (AAN) first web campaign focused on the law this cycle, and marks an escalation of attacks for the group — and a warning to Democrats that even attempts to improve the law can't insulate them from its political fallout.

According to details shared first with The Hill, the group is hitting Democratic Reps. Scott Peters (Calif.), Brad Schneider (Ill.), Carol Shea-Porter (N.H.), Patrick Murphy (Fla.) and John Barrow (Ga.), as well as Democrat Erin Bilbray, who is challenging Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.), with the ads.
They're targeting shoppers and feature snow-covered ornaments and beribboned gift boxes, the latter reading "Erin Bilbray, running from ObamaCare" and "Don't buy it."

So much for peace and goodwill. It's a questionable strategy. For one thing, the most receptive tea party audience for the message is not the demographic you expect to be doing most of their holiday shopping online. The other part is that holiday shoppers might just end up a little resentful about having their holiday invaded by politics.

Meanwhile, consumers are reporting good news on the front, signing up and saying things like "It’s so exciting to get better insurance at a lower price." In other words, the message that Republicans fear the most.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 09:53 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (24+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 09:53:18 AM PST

  •  I got into an argument with my brother (14+ / 0-)

    last week about the ACA. If anyone needs insurance it is him and he would definately qualify for assistance yet he refuses to do it because "he doesn't want to make Americans pay for his insurance."

    I don't want to get into the rest of the argument because I don't want to ruin my day.

    Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

    by Mike S on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 10:23:32 AM PST

    •  I guess he also doesn't want Americans to pay (12+ / 0-)

      for the roads he drives on, the schools he attends, the armies who protect him, and the agencies that make sure he's not eating poison. I guess he's okay with Americans paying a lot more for the uninsured who end up in emergency rooms. Hope he didn't ruin your day.

      stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

      by Mother Mags on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 10:34:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I guess he wouldn't use ers if needed either,then. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Danali, pistolSO
    •  Yet "Americans" pay for employee coverage (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I just don't get why it is so evil to get a tax break on coverage FINALLY if you are self employed but tax breaks have always subsidized employee plans

    •  I wonder why (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aquarius40, Sue B, Matt Z

      No one runs ads against medicare.  Some of Part B, and a large percentage of Part D, is funding by general revenue.  It seems that if these groups ran ads encouraging seniors to not get medical care, but just pass away as is natural, the US would save huge amounts not only in medicare costs but also social security payments, and it is not like we would be losing a great deal of productivity like when a young adult becomes non functional because of lack of medical care.

    •  Sad he's making that choice (0+ / 0-)

      I'm so sorry that he is taking that position.

      I hope he'll re-think it. A lot of people have gone without insurance, but determined--in good faith--to pay all their own medical bills out of pocket.

      But it doesn't take much by way of illness or accidental injury to end up owing more than can ever realistically be repaid. The extra costs end up with the hospital, with insured patients (who get billed a little more to offset the losses), and, of course, governments.

      Maybe you could use the argument that the navigator in Kentucky used with the woman who didn't want to accept Medicaid, as she wanted to pay her own way.

      The navigator said: Why don't you sign up for it, like it is for catastrophic expenses. Pay out-of-pocket for whatever you choose in regular health care, but the Medicaid will be there as a backup. Then the hospital (etc) will get paid if you were to get really sick and need the backup. Of course, the woman would get Medicaid at no cost, while your brother might be paying toward it.

      A lot of people with this opinion will end up signing up for the insurance, sometime down the road, when they realize how many people are using it. It is unfortunate that some are choosing to be late adopters.

  •  Watching the GOP's head explode (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare, KayCeSF, shoeless, TofG, rbird, Vatexia, Matt Z

    over a piece of legislation pioneered in MA by their last presidential candidate, back when he was governor, large parts of which were written by the Heritage Foundation, has been most instructive.

    It's the "We Hate Obama" party.

    They hate him so much they'll oppose conservative insurance policy, reckless wars of choice in the Middle East, and NSA snooping.


    I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 10:37:30 AM PST

  •  Blatant Collusion Between GOP and Media (7+ / 0-)

    Can there be any more blatant proof that most Media is in the pocket of the GOP?  

    When it comes right down to the facts the ACA is a huge improvement over what used to be the status quo and health insurance in America. There are certainly flaws in the legislation just like any other major policy legislation and there are arguments from the Left that the ACA does not go far enough or that it's not single payer.

    From the people's perspective there simply isn't any doubt that the ACA is a huge improvement in people's lives and that it has a positive impact on the vast, vast majority of the people in this country. Even the huge majority of us that have great insurance through our employers get some major benefits from this legislation.

    But we aren't hearing very much about the benefits of the ACA from the media while it focuses on implementation details that are clearly, and obviously, going to be corrected.

    The blatant collusion comes in what we observe in coverage of the implementation failures, the most notable of which are the web site glitches. What we hear are:

    * Republicans complaining loudly about website problems
    * The Media going on and on about... website problems

    Where are the stories on the successes of the ACA?
    Where are the stories about all the great benefits of the ACA that were put in place even before the exchanges and the website even came online?

    The fact that the majority of the Media coverage of the ACA is parroting GOP talking points is just another completely obvious data point showing that our Media is broken in this country.

    Without a viable 4th estate everything, but everything we do in this country legislatively at nearly every level of government is hampered by having to push back against the bias in the media.  

    In my opinion, the two biggest problems facing the USA today are:
    - Campaign Financing
    - Media consolidation

    We fix those two things and we could really have a fabulously wealthy and empowered country worthy of leading the world.

    [Terrorists] are a dime a dozen, they are all over the world and for every one we lock up there will be three to take his place. --Digby

    by rabel on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 10:41:32 AM PST

  •  Government Private Contractors (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, rbird

    "Technology failures grow all too common in government projects"
    Affordable Health Care Contractors, where the fault lies! More private government high costs contractors, political ideology of privatizing government for profit {think also War Contractors and no-bid contracts, the NSA contractors, the security clearance contractors, the list is huge, getting multiple contracts because of government connections, i.e. congress and agency insiders}, returning more then shoddy work as product, on the tax payers dime, in a tech age of beta product releases, soft and hardware, and let the customers deal with the frustrations as techs then patch!

    Take a hike!

    At some point we knew the ball was going to drop and contractors that had been in charge of various aspects of could get the boot. Two days ago, the first Obamacare contractor was "officially" shown the door. I say "officially" because it hasn't been officially announced yet, but according to a Bloomberg report via a spokesperson for the HHS, Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) subsidiary Terremark, which is a data center operator for, will be replaced when its contract is up in March by Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) . The Terremark data center actually crashed twice in October and, during one of those crashes, managed to knock another critical system offline.>>>
    CGI Group (NYSE: GIB  ) . Being the lead architect behind and really being unable to offer much headway in how to fix its innumerable problems, CGI has been kept around at all probably because of its knowledge of the IT-code that it wrote.>>>
    Another contractor that'd be wise to get its act together, but that I'm also far less confident is in the cauldron relative to CGI Group, is UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH  ) subsidiary Quality Software Solutions, or QSSI. QSSI is responsible for aspects of personal identification and in linking personal information with the appropriate government agency. Early on, QSSI's systems, like practically everything else, failed to work well, but it managed to resolve a number of its own technical glitches since the launch.>>>
    Failed roll-out brought not a drop in stock price but rises in those bottom lines and executive compensations along with high returns to investors especially the big investors, like they had built a perfect diamond!
    Who's benefiting, and why, on wall street, the halls of congress, as well as the highly compensated talking heads of the media and the wealthy in building that hoarded wealth!

    "If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

    by jimstaro on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 10:42:56 AM PST

  •  I hope North Carolina guy contacts insurer (7+ / 0-)

    It's good to see "success story" anecdotes for a change instead of the usual Republican lies. However, the article mentions one fellow from North Carolina who couldn't successfully use the revamped site and who fears contacting an insurance seller directly for fear they will charge higher rates. I have some news for him - I used this method because initially (October) my state's site wasn't working that well. Soon after an initial frustrating attempt, I heard Howard Dean on Lawrence O'Donnell mentioning that there are lots of ways around it, i.e. online insurance companies, contacting providers directly, etc. and thought "Why didn't I think of that?"

    So right away (again, this is back in October) I checked an electronic insurance site which listed providers, and checked the providers' web sites separately and in a short time found my way to an 800-number sales person who helped me out. The company did not charge extra for that; now that I can see my state's own site, I can verify that they charged the same.

    So, long story short - North Carolina guy, don't fear going directly to a provider. I checked an e-site and found your state has scads of providers under the ACA ...(although I doubt he's reading DailyKos, alas).

    Ginny Mayer, Ph.D. Democrat CA State Senate Candidate - SD-35 (Orange County)

    by Ginny Mayer on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 10:43:43 AM PST

  •  Michael Smerconish is still kvetching over his (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    claimed inability, for gazillion hours, to get insurance on the website. I imagine when the last 2 people to not get on it, he'll be 1 of them---can't be boehner, he got on and pretend insured in less than 1 day.

  •  Wonder if Right Wingers will drop THEIR OWN... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, rbird, True North

    …health insurance… Always easier to tell other sot sacrifice themselves, just like the "shared sacrifice" that are only to be "shared" by the poor...

    •  More importantly, drop their kids' insurance (0+ / 0-)

      A lot of those GOP anti-Obamacare people get insurance through work. Good insurance. Are they keeping their kids on it until 26--or telling them they're on their own at 18?

      If they have a minor child with a pre-existing condition, are they refusing to apply for insurance for that child, and just footing all the health care bills themselves?

  •  People who applaud the idea that those who... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rbird, Aquarius40, Sue B

    don't purchase health insurance should die, are urging people not to purchase health insurance.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 10:56:43 AM PST

  •  A Few Important Points To Remember (4+ / 0-)

    Insurance companies may no longer limit the amount of coverage available to those who face expensive medical conditions. This will help Americans who develop chronic illnesses.

    Many plans, with the exception of those “grandfathered” plans in the individual market, must phase out annual limits over the next three years.

    Insurance companies must pay for preventative care, such as mammograms and immunizations. Insurance companies must improve the appeals process for insurance claims. Insurance companies must provide more direct access to OB-GYN care, instead of requiring women to have referrals from a primary care physician.

    Tax credits will help small businesses cover employees.

    Medicare will cover the full costs of annual wellness visits and personalized prevention plan services. A Medicaid program will allow states to offer home and community-based care for disabled Americans who would otherwise receive institutional care.

    As of 2014, health insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage to adults with pre-existing conditions.

    Individuals with income up to 133% of the poverty level will qualify for Medicaid coverage.

    For people with incomes up to 400% of the poverty level, health care tax credits will become available to help them purchase coverage on the exchange.

    By 2019, health care reform will extend coverage to 32 million Americans who would not otherwise be insured.

    Yet, the work of health care reform is only beginning. It must be defended against obstruction and attack, in order for Americans to experience all of its benefits. Like other programs that the overwhelming majority of Americans support — such as Social Security and Medicare — the support for health care reform will continue to grow as more Americans feel its positive impact in their lives.

    We must not let the Obama haters destroy this essential advancement in the long road in America towards universal health care, a road already travelled and accomplished by so many other countries.

    "Love Is Why We're Here"

    by Paniolo Joe on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 10:59:43 AM PST

  •  Stupid strategy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, Sue B

    Americans already think Republicans are hateful scum.
    This just add more fuel to that fire.

    Keep up the good work Teabaggers.

    "Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed." -- Vaclav Havel

    by greendem on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 11:08:16 AM PST

  •  There's a certain logic to that if insurers are (0+ / 0-)

    not allowed to refuse you and are forced to use community pricing.

    Just wait til you think you'll need it, then buy it.

    Not a foolproof plan:

    If you're the victim of a traumatic accident or crime that leaves you unable to act, you could be screwed, but, otherwise...maybe not a bad deal.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 11:11:49 AM PST

  •  Are there no prisons, no work houses...? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Round up the usual suspects"

    by NanaoKnows on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 11:13:22 AM PST

  •  Do they want us to burn our invisible OCare cards? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Wasn't it Free DumbWorks or Heritage who came up with that brilliance?


    "If you push something hard enough, it will fall over."
    — Fudd's First Law of Opposition.

    by here4tehbeer on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 11:36:07 AM PST

  •   Holidays invaded by Politics (0+ / 0-)

    "...The other part is that holiday shoppers might just end up a little resentful about having their holiday invaded by politics..."

    Joan McCarter is making a good point but it's two-faced to think Liberals don't do the same thing! How many times have we all heard of Liberals crying about kids celebrating the birth of Jesus during Christmas time in our Public Schools?

    It seems Liberals have forgotten who wrote the Bill of Rights Amendment that assures Freedom of Religion to the people. James Madison knew what he was writing about when he authored the 1st Amendment, and yet his actions...if done today....would be considered unconstitutional by the left-wing Liberals!

    James Madison had prayers held in the White House, in both Houses of Congress and even used funds from the Federal coffers to help construct church buildings! Where is the so called 'Separation of Church and State' in his actions? And if it was OK for a sitting President to do these actions, Liberals are simply idiots that can't understand a word of what they're reading!

    The truth about the so called 'Separation of Church and State' is this....Nobody has the right to say one word to those kids in our Public Schools about their religious actions! That is what the first Amendment stops anyone in a government position from doing anything that would infringe upon the rights of the people to practice their religion anywhere....period!

  •  to have (0+ / 0-)

    the last word they'll risk getting sick, bankrupt and death;

    stupid is as stupid does.....

    are there any hard number on people actually cutting off their noses to spite their faces - - on this

    “Control oil and you control nations,” said US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in the 1970s. ”Control food and you control the people.”

    by anyname on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 12:02:06 PM PST

  •  Celebrating is a lot easier (0+ / 0-)

    when you have the Peace of Mind Knowing that you
    have affordable health insurance.

    Not being dropped for a pre-existing condition and staying
    on your parents insurance until age 26 are also Nice.

    Naturally, NONE of those Good things will stop the
    Teabaggers from acting like Uncle Scrooge for the next
    100 Years.

    The Bitching and Complaining was appropriate back when
    the Web site was Broken.

    Now that things are Fixed, it all sounds like a bunch a
    Losers complaining about the fact that they LOST.

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Mon Dec 02, 2013 at 12:14:38 PM PST

  •  wow (0+ / 0-)

    If I understand correctly, the far right is telling people not to transfer their money and the taxpayers' money to private business (i.e. the insurance companies)...  ??  Have I got that right?  What might the insurance companies think of this?  They have more money than god already but I'm sure they want to continue to receive this fountain of money the ACA will give them...

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