18
Aug
09

Speaking Truth in an Emotional Way

More interesting commentary from Newsweek on Healthcare:

http://www.newsweek.com/id/212163

http://www.newsweek.com/id/212163

http://www.newsweek.com/id/212163

While I was reading this on the stepper this morning, I couldn’t help but think they were all saying the same thing. Sure, they all say we need to do something about healthcare, but more than that. They are all saying that nothing is going to happen unless the proponents of reform learn how to talk about it a little better. Not only are the Democrats disorganized as usual, dealing with different factions in their own party, but they are dealing with what I like to think of as Kerry-fication. (I really like John Kerry, bless his heart.) They give careful and correct responses that can go on a little long and are very difficult to summarize. They are so careful not to misspeak that they often do. What they say is right, but not always politically “sellable”. If only the Democrats had their own Frank “Death Tax” Luntz who could give them the language without causing them to be so maliciously dishonest as the Luntz-ification of the Republicans proved to be. How do you treat the populace as responsible, thoughtful citizens and still get your point across while they run by the TV on the way to work or to pick up the kids at practice? More so, how do you get them to have a passionate response, to care enough to raise their voice and still not try to illicit irrational fear and more irrational rage?

The idea that we only ever deal with something until it is a crisis is a good place to start. Healthcare is a crisis. Tied up in our “fatal flaw” that Zakaria talks about is the fact that we can only see a short distance into the future, say 4 to 8 years. Healthcare is a crisis! It is just a longer term crisis. 2025? 2050? Those years are meaningless, unless you can bring them into the present day and show the crisis in the present. While Alter is right, that healthcare is a civil right, not everyone agrees with that. More so, if a person has health insurance, they are going to be worried about losing what they have over making sure that someone else gets something. You have to make this civil right make economic sense. All of us are paying for those millions without healthcare. Make that a crisis. It is a crisis.

Begley is right, we are losing the war of words. Opponents may have great sound bites, but the proponents have some really compelling stories. The story of the 17-year-old girl that died because Cigna denied coverage because they claimed her liver transplant was “experimental” should be in every town hall meeting. This, and many other stories like it, could be the “Willie Horton” ad of the health care reform battle. It has been shown that people respond better to a tragedy of a single person than they do to a tragedy of millions. Hence, Feed the Children shows you a child that you can help to feed. Given such a widespread problem, people feel overwhelmed and like they can make no difference. We have to put a face or faces on the healthcare issue.

And if we could come up with some catching phrases, that would help too. Freedom to be Healthy Act? Right to Care Act? Proud to be a Healthy American?

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4 Responses to “Speaking Truth in an Emotional Way”


  1. 1 Sammy
    August 19, 2009 at 10:36 am

    All obama will do is outsource anyways. Just think about the all the lobbyists flocking to Washington DC because of obama’s reckless over-spending of $2 TRILLION in just 6 months, which alone is increasing the National Debt by 20%.

    Politicians take people’s money and reward the large corporations, in this case companies in the health care industry, since they have the money to more effectively lobby politicians. In the end smaller businesses will be hurt.

    Politicians will only reward companies that will be in their best political interest. Honestly, when can you really trust politicians since they are basically professional liars, and being president just means you are the best liar of the time. Why not just give the money directly from the people to the companies and take politicians in government out of the equation?

    obama is going to recklessly spend TRILLIONS of tax payers’ money just to give insurance to about 25% of those who do not have it. Over 50% of people’s income go towards taxes, just imagine how many more people will afford health care insurance if their income is almost doubled because of dramatic tax cuts.

    Competition is what is needed. It lowers prices of products and services, along with developing new innovations. All of which will benefit consumers. You need to remember that monopolistic tendencies can also apply to government.

    The reason why the cost of insurance is high is because politicians in government mandate insurance companies to increase their premiums to pay for ridiculous things. In addition, politicians put up regulations so that Americans are not allowed to get insurance from another state and use the coverage in their own state. This reduces competition making it more expensive for people to get insurance. On top of that medical professionals are not allowed to freely practice their profession in any US state without taking a long and tedious licensing process. This again increases the cost of medical insurance.

    In the end, the problem with most economic issues is too much government intervention of the economy by politicians, who will only tend to do things for political self interest. Just like how obama nationalized GM to pander to its unions. Politicians can barely run government, yet people think they can run a multi-national auto manufacturing company?

    The solution is SMALLER government, LESS spending, and LOWER taxes.

  2. 2 badphonekarmagirl
    August 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Sammy, do you not capitalize “Obama” as a show of disrespect or was it purely coincidental that all uses of his name have a lower case “o”? If so, it is childish and puts your comments in context.
    While politics is not pretty and we can agree that there are too many lobbyist and corporations in the way, I think your anger is misplaced. All that money that is flowing out of government? Most of that was set out under Bush, not Obama. And, all that money? Well, it looks like it kept the economy from going over the cliff. You know that huge National Debt that you are so concerned with? Well, a lot of that was caused by cutting taxes for the top 5% of wage earners and two wars that the previous administration never paid for and simply didn’t put on the books. So, if it is possible, just take a deep breath and relax.
    Oh, and the tax rate! Please, where are you getting that figure? The average family household income is $50,000 – and the tax rate is 13.3%.
    If you hate politics, I get it. Please remember, though, that WE are the government and nothing can get done if people scream and spout “facts” that are simply not fact – or worse, are malicious distortions. We need to have serious conversations about serious issues. That takes calm and reason and respect for the other side’s opinion.

  3. 3 jon
    August 25, 2009 at 5:29 am

    I can’t help but give my two cents worth but I will try to be respectful, as you asked.
    Ronald Reagan and, yes, Bill Clinton, deregulated banks, lenders and other financial institutions and the result was what you see today. When people hold our money and aren’t watched over, they do whatever they can to make more and more money – and to hell with the people that get burned. The people involved in these debaucles have even admitted it. Harsh as it is to hear after 3 decades – more or less – of Republican sound bites aboutthe size of government, what is clearly needed is MORE government, in the form of regulation. It isn’t the government that has been screwing us for the past 30 years, it’s big business – insurance companies, banks and such. There is no debate here.
    And yes, Obama has spent a boatload of money trying to keep the country afloat – and everyone but Fox News has said that it is working and the state of the union would be much worse if he hadn’t.
    I understand that Republicans believe in less government and that government does NOT exist as a safety net. Fine. Democrats believe government IS here to provide for the people. Just a differing of opinion. HOWEVER, the Republican Party ran this country into the ground and now we’re trying it our way. You guys have been on top so long you forget what it’s like to be the minority party. Deal with it. We did.

  4. 4 jon
    August 25, 2009 at 5:44 am

    Two More Cents

    The Republican Party, about the time of the rise of Gingrich, decided to stop trying to run the country directly and to just attack the Democrats, whatever they did. This, they assumed, would seal their control. That is the point where the Grand Old Party went astray. Since that time they have villified intelligence, allowed the likes of Limbaugh and Coulter to assume the roles of spokespersons for their party and, most importantly, worked hard to disassemble all the social advances the Democratic Party had made, especially Social Security. It is some kind of sick plan to prove that the Republican way is the only way, regardless of what it does to the country.

    Because of this mentality, and because most Republicans just can’t seem to face the fact that they are no longer in control, they will do ANYTHING to derail health care reform. Every major, 1st world country in the world has it EXCEPT us. How bad can it be?

    Republicans have made words like “liberal” and “social” into bad words. They aren’t. Republicans aren’t even worried over losing money from big business anymore. They are afraid of not being in control and will say or do whatever it takes to try to gain control again.


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