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Government Produces Slide Show to Help Sell Obamacare: 'Hello, My Name is XXX'

May 02, 2012

By Avik Roy

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I’m sure you have few illusions about the partisan nature of today’s Health and Human Services Department. Just in case, however, Buzzfeed has posted a copy of a 20-page HHS document that, according to the web site, was "circulated by [HHS] to allies" with the goal of "making the unpopular law more politically saleable."

The document contains a number of helpful hints on how to help public speakers explain the law’s alleged benefits. "Hello, my name is XXX," it begins. "And I’m glad to be with you today to talk about the health care law, the Affordable Care Act—and what it means for you, your family, and your community."

The rest of the document recites the usual claims that the law offers "protection from the worst insurance company abuses," that it "makes health care more affordable," while providing "better access to care" and "stronger Medicare."

Unfortunately, the truth is just the opposite. The law makes health care less affordable, by imposing costly regulations upon insurers, as one of the law’s architects, Jonathan Gruber, has admitted. These are the regulations that supposedly will curb insurer abuses, but will instead drive premiums higher, and lead to private insurance monopolies as smaller carriers exit the market.

The law cuts Medicare, not to improve the program’s solvency, but to fund new federal spending commitments. By shoving 17 million more Americans into Medicaid, the nation’s worst health-care program, the law exacerbates problems of health-care access for those with lower incomes.

It’s a debate worth having, of course. Back in February, at an event hosted by the Manhattan Institute, American Prospect co-founder Paul Starr and I sparred on these topics.

The conceit of Obamacare’s advocates is that the law is unpopular because voters are ignorant of its benefits. The opposite is true: the law is unpopular because voters are cognizant of its flaws.

Original Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/aroy/2012/05/02/government-produces-slide-show-to-help-surrogates-sell-obamacare-hello-my-name-is-xxx/

 

 
 
 

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