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Memo: Get Ready For the Great 'Obamacare' PR Campaign


"Remind people that the law is already benefiting millions of Americans by providing health care coverage, reducing costs and providing access to healthcare coverage."

Last week, a study released by the journal "American Politics Research" found that The Affordable Health Care for America Act (i.e. “Obamacare”) cost Democrats their House majority during the November 2010 midterm elections.


The Washington Post’s Aaron Blak explains:

The study, by five professors from institutions across the country, looks at the health care bill alongside other contentious votes in the 111th Congress and determines that, more so than the stimulus or the cap-and-trade energy bill, it cost Democrats seats. In fact, they lost almost exactly the number of seats that decided the majority.

The study ran 10,000 simulations of a scenario in which all vulnerable Democrats voted against the health care bill and found that the rejections would have saved Democrats an average of 25 seats, which would have made the House parties close to a tie. (Republicans won 63 seats overall, but the study suggests around 25 of them would have been salvaged.)

"[W]e show that the roll-call effect on vote share was driven by healthcare reform. Democratic incumbents who voted yes performed significantly worse than those who did not," study co-author Brendan Nyhan of Dartmouth College writes on his blog.

"We then provide simulation evidence suggesting that Democrats would win approximately 25 more seats if those in competitive districts had voted no, which accounts for the gap between the academic forecasts and the observed outcomes," he adds.

Simply put, the November “Red Wave,” in which conservatives running for public office made unprecedented gains, was the result of voter opposition to “Obamacare.”

Even House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) admitted that "Obamacare" hurt his party when he told reporters: “It was clearly a liability in the last election in terms of the public’s fear.”

Therefore, perhaps in silent recognition of the report's findings, the Obama administration has decided to mount a major public-relations campaign to promote the benefits of “Obamacare” and once again remind Americans why it’s such a great idea.

“The White House and its liberal allies are planning a comprehensive public-relations campaign for the second anniversary of Obamacare and the Supreme Court oral arguments that will take place later this month,” writes The Heritage Foundation’s Rob Bluey.

Bluey continues:

The memo...includes a day-by-day breakdown of how the White House and liberal advocacy organizations want to frame the debate. The New York Times first reported on the Obama administration’s coordination efforts, including a White House meeting last week with more than 100 people present. The Center for American Progress, Families USA, Health Care for America Now, and Protect Your Care are among the groups mentioned on the memo.

So as we fast approach the two-year anniversary of the president’s greatest year-to-date achievement, the aforementioned memo stresses two key points (via Heritage):

“Remind people that the law is already benefiting millions of Americans by providing health care coverage, reducing costs and providing access to healthcare coverage. This message will include the ideas that these are benefits that politicans/the Court art (sic) are trying to take away from average Americans.”

“Frame the Supreme Court oral arguments in terms of real people and real benefits that would be lost if the law were overturned. While lawyers will be talking about the individual responsibility piece of the law and the legal precdedence, organizations on the ground should continue to focus on these more tangible results of the law.”

Are there any other actions planned for the “Obamacare” PR campaign? You bet there are.

“During the three days of oral arguments, the groups plan to provide space for a media filing center as well as radio and TV broadcasts at the United Methodist Building, adjacent the U.S. Supreme Court. The court will begin hearing arguments on March 26 and conclude on March 28,” Bluey reports.

But don’t worry. “Obamacare” advocates aren’t the only ones who plan to commemorate its two-year anniversary with public displays. In fact, the conservative group Americans for Prosperity plans to hold a “Hands Off My Health Care Rally” in Washington, D.C., on March 27, the second day of arguments at the Supreme Court.

Here’s the memo (via Heritage):

ACA Anniversary & Supreme Court Oral Arguments Memo for Healthcare Advocacy Groups

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