What’s New?

The Herndon Alliance and Know Your Care did a poll recently looking at how to most effectively increase the support for the Affordable Care Act in the context of the recent proposals to end Medicare and Medicaid as we know them.

Strategic Recommendations

  • Stress that the Affordable Care Act will make healthcare more secure by ending denials based on pre-existing conditions and that it will require Congress to get their healthcare from the same place as millions of Americans.
  • Compare it to the GOP budget, which privatizes Medicare and dramatically increases healthcare costs for seniors over ten years. Their Medicaid cuts hurt 80% of nursing home residents and they allow insurance companies to continue to deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
  • When highlighting any of the GOP’s proposed changes to healthcare, contrast them with the party’s support for tax breaks for the wealthy or big oil companies.
  • Emphasize that the policies you are working on support the middle class and working families.
Medicare Medicare Medicare – We win overwhelmingly on this issue.

  • The Republican budget privatizes Medicare, ending Medicare as we know it while protecting billions in tax breaks for big oil companies.
  • It would make current seniors pay even more for prescription drugs and allow insurance companies to continue to both deny coverage to people with preexisting conditions and drop coverage for those who get sick.

Use Medicare to Defend the Affordable Care Act – The huge overreach on Medicare can fundamentally shift the debate over the Affordable Care Act.

  • Some members of Congress voted to end Medicare, and now they want to take away benefits under the Affordable Care Act that are helping millions. Their actions would allow insurance companies to deny coverage to people with preexisting conditions, eliminate the new requirement that members of Congress get the same healthcare as millions of Americans and would make prescription drugs more costly for 4 million seniors on Medicare.
  • Given that some Members of Congress want to take away your Medicare, why would we believe anything they say about the Affordable Care Act?

Use the Affordable Care Act to Defend Medicare.

  • The Affordable Care Act protects Medicare for current seniors and strengthens it for future generations by cracking down on waste, fraud and abuse, ending handouts to insurance companies and providing free preventive care to reduce costly emergency room visits and reduce health care costs in the long-term.

Don’t Forget Medicaid – It tests just as well as Medicare if connected to seniors.

  • The Top Testing Message Pushing Back on the Budget addresses Medicaid: “The budget would cut seven hundred and fifty billion dollars from Medicaid, including funding for eighty percent of nursing home residents, forcing many seniors to be kicked out of their nursing homes.”

Positive Affordable Care Act Message.

  • The parts of the law people like best (especially independents, seniors and people undecided on the Affordable Care Act) are ending pre-existing conditions and having the same coverage as Congress. Any effort to increase support for the ACA should highlight these two benefits as examples of how the new law will make healthcare more secure for the middle class.
  • The Top Testing Positive Message on the Affordable Care Act: “Healthcare coverage will be more secure because working families can’t be denied care due to a pre-existing condition, or lose their coverage or be forced into bankruptcy when someone gets sick. It will also require that members of Congress get their healthcare from the same plans as millions of Americans.”

Questions and Answers

Aren’t we broke and can’t afford the ACA?

The middle class is getting crushed – struggling to get by because of fewer jobs and fewer jobs with good benefits. More than ever we have to make sure families can succeed. The new health care law helps get us there by cutting waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare; increasing prevention to reduce costly ER visits; and creating competition among insurance companies.

Isn’t this government over-reach – controlling our health care?

This is the argument made by the same people trying to end Medicare and Medicaid but in reality it supports working families, requires members of Congress to get their healthcare from the same plans as millions of Americans, and makes health care more secure for all working families because it eliminates preexisting conditions.

Won’t the Affordable Care Act – the new law mean I won’t get the care I need?

This is the argument made by the same people trying to end Medicare and Medicaid but in reality it supports you and your family getting the care you need. It requires members of Congress to get their healthcare from the same plans as millions of Americans. It eliminates preexisting conditions – keeping insurance companies from coming between you and your doctor. It requires coverage of preventive care like colonoscopies and mammograms, so you and your doctor can decide what is right for you. It frees up doctors to spend more time with their patients and less time on paper work for insurance companies.

Doesn’t this law make people buy insurance even if they don’t want to?

If everyone has insurance, we reduce costs and improve the health of our communities. This law keeps insurance companies from denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions or dropping coverage when someone gets sick, and we can hold down costs because people will get preventive care instead of having to go to the emergency room. Currently, when someone who is uninsured gets sick and can’t pay, those of us who have insurance are forced to pick up the tab.