Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Fwd: qotd: Can we talk about the ACA train wreck?

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-------- Original Message --------
Subject: qotd: Can we talk about the ACA train wreck?
Date: Tue, 14 May 2013 12:04:00 -0700
From: Don McCanne <don@mccanne.org>
To: Quote-of-the-Day <quote-of-the-day@mccanne.org>

The Huffington Post
May 6, 2013
GOP Candidates' Top Campaign Issue Will Be Obamacare 'Train Wreck'
By Wendell Potter

Will the implementation of some of the most important provisions of
ObamaCare this fall and next year result in the "train wreck" Senate
Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) predicted a few days ago?

No. But you can be certain that there will be no shortage of political
candidates and high-powered political spin doctors who will be working
relentlessly between now and the 2014 midterms to convince us that it
will be.

If the Democrats and consumer advocates who support ObamaCare are not at
work developing their own strategies to counter the coming barrage of
misleading spin, the GOP will have an excellent chance of controlling
Capitol Hill after the next elections.


Comment: Of those who are serious about health care reform, some want
to abandon the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and immediately enact single
payer, and others want to abandon the single payer cause and move full
steam ahead with implementation of the ACA. But should we really abandon
either approach?

It is clear that ACA alone will be grossly deficient. Thirty million
people will remain uninsured, inadequate low actuarial value plans will
become the new standard, and wasteful spending will continue because of
the highly flawed, administratively complex model of ACA. So single
payer should not be abandoned since it is an imperative if we want to
have affordable health care for everyone.

Why shouldn't we abandon ACA? Because, quite simply, it is all that we
have right now, and it will provide some limited relief for millions of
people. If we were to abandon ACA now, mobilizing a social movement and
then enacting and implementing single payer would still take many years
- too long for those who would receive some benefit from ACA now.

So we should do both. Let the ACA enthusiasts continue with the
implementation, while single payer forces step up the social movement
for health care justice though advocacy for an improved Medicare for

So where is the train wreck? There isn't any. But Wendell Potter is
right. The opponents of reform will latch onto every ACA implementation
glitch, real or imagined, and onto the criticisms which will inevitably
follow. They will attempt to frame the implementation as a debacle, and
run with that in their effort to use election politics to advance their
anti-government agenda.

This complicates the message for the single payer camp. We need to
educate people as to why ACA will fall intolerably short of reform
goals, but we do not want that to become part of the Repeal ACA message.
The opponents initially supported Repeal and Replace, but they have
largely abandoned Replace, concentrating on Repeal. So how do we counter
the Repeal message?

We need to emphasize the positive message of single payer - truly
affordable health care for everyone. We can add that we don't need to
repeal ACA since it can help some during the transition to single payer.
But our action message should be Replace - letting the public know that
we really do have a much better program that will work for everyone,
whereas the opponents do not.

So perhaps a unifying message for the supporters of health care justice
should be:

Forget Repeal, REPLACE!

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