You can shoot five Bin Ladens, you can save 10,000 banks and 20 car companies, even pass the most sweeping legislation in modern American history; if people don’t think that you are connected to their lives and are fighting for their interests they will vote your tush out of office in a nano-second. – James Carville, May 2012
This political reality, voiced as only James Carville can put it, is the main reason why we Americans are staring at the soon to be reality of ObamaCare taking effect. That the whole thing will be a train wreck will be sickening to watch, but not the point here.
Up until now, no one has really articulated how ObamaCare is going to affect people’s lives, other than some of the give-a-ways, and references to death panels that just aren’t sexy enough to warrant attention…until it happens to one of YOUR loved ones.
In the last 24 hours all that has changed.
Beginning with the most basic and personal topic: how much is this going to cost a family of four? According to Forbes:
Between 2014 and 2022, the increase in national health spending (which the Medicare actuaries specifically attribute to the law) amounts to $7,450 per family of 4.
Whoa, that’s a lot of money. It continues:
Let us hope this family hasn’t already spent or borrowed the $22,500 in savings they might have expected over this same period had they taken candidate Obama’s promise at face value.
A complete rip-out and replacement of a bathroom costs around $22,500. So does a decent car, or splitting that kind of cash for a down payment on one along with a new roof, new carpets, private school tuition, vacations, and on and on. Forget the trickle effect spending cash has on an economy, that’s a lot of money for an individual family. And that’s just one number crunching person’s projection.
What makes these numbers significant (and in the eye of the storm for discreditation) is that the individual family expense is boiled down to a per household number, not hundreds of billions and abstract terminology that people with a passing interest in politics don’t get and aren’t interested in getting.
Plain and simply, ObamaCare is going to cost EVERYONE thousands of dollars more every year while delivering care that is subpar compared to what we are accustomed.
Imposing that sort of law is not caring for the people at all, even if it was made to seem that way.
This is where anti-ObamaCare talking points need to speak in individual terms rather than about the deficit and using words like “defund” and “repeal”. (This will eventually happen, but the non-engaged sorts need to experience the disaster before it does.)
At this point, one has to be living in a cave not to realize that the hours cut for so many workers is due to this law. Elaine Toplansky lays it all out in today’s American Thinker. What exactly is wrong with saying out loud, “If your hours have been cut to 29 per week or under, it is due to ObamaCare.” That should be a no-brainer. That is not an abstract statement. That is personal.
This is where the communications aspect of conservative politics needs work: speaking to the individual. Because, as Mr. Carville so colorfully put it, if the people don’t think that politicians care about them (whether it is true or not), they will boot leaders from office in the next election.
That’s what the needs to be explained. Preferably in soundbite form.
For more reading on what we do not know yet about ObamaCare: What Will ObamaCare Cost You, Beginning on January 1? Do You Know?