(NaturalNews) Good politics or an attempt to obscure problems with a bad law? That's the question surrounding the White House's latest efforts to sell Obamacare to a still-skeptical nation.
On the fourth anniversary of easily the most controversial law Congress has passed in recent memory, the Obama administration and congressional Democrats are launching an all-out effort to defend their not-so-popular Affordable Care Act, and the use of social media is a huge part of that push.
According to a report in The Hill, a daily newspaper focusing on Congress, Democrats are focusing on aspects of the law that, for many, still haven't been realized.
For instance, they are touting benefits like no loss of coverage for preexisting conditions (which is not completely true, if you as this article notes) and no more lifetime limits on care (as long as you can get into see a provider). And, of course, there is a bit of politics thrown in as well; the story features a photo of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California standing next to a display that says, "No longer is being a woman considered a preexisting condition."
The smell of propaganda
Speaking of Pelosi, according to the paper she has taken the lead in distributing Obamacare talking points to fellow Democrats. And she has joined with several White House staffers in tweeting catchy phrases and hashtags. In fact, the social media site Twitter is one target of the push; one of the hashtags being used is #healthcare4all.
From The Hill:
The tightly coordinated final push was the result of work between the White House and House and Senate "healthcare strike teams," which were created in the aftermath of the botched ObamaCare rollout to push back against a flood of bad headlines.
The White House has provided members of Congress with packets that detail state-by-state benefits of the law, and what the cost of repeal would mean for constituents within their districts. A White House official says the data can be used to "amplify" the new effort ahead of the March 31 deadline.
The Obama administration is getting the federal bureaucracy involved as well. Conveniently, health officials reported days before the propaganda push began that nearly 8 million senior citizens have saved $9.9 billion on medicines since Obamacare went into effect; the White House wants Democratic incumbents to use that figure on the campaign trail.
In addition, President Obama and top administration officials plan to showcase individuals who say that they and their families have been helped by the law. And included in the images to be tweeted will be one featuring the president's signature on the Obamacare bill.
If the law was popular, a propaganda push wouldn't be necessary
White House officials have been trying to get Democratic lawmakers to help out touting the law they alone passed, and it appears as though the latest social media push is attracting at least some of them.
"For a long time it was frankly just the White House pushing the positive aspects of this," an aide told The Hill.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who has taken up leading the effort in the Senate, appeared on a call with Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), which was hosted by the liberal Center for American Progress. They said that not only was it possible to run on Obamacare, but to win on it.
"Now that the ACA is working, now that we've gotten beyond those early months, we have a really good story to tell," said Murphy.
"The election isn't tomorrow," Boxer added. "We had a terrible rollout. It slowed us up. But it's falling into place now. The Republican answer is, let's repeal it and take away these benefits from people. That's going to be very bad for them at the end of the day."
(It's important to note, for accuracy's sake, that neither of these two senators are standing for reelection this year).
A number of Senate Democrats are in close reelection races, and polling suggests it is precisely because of fallout from Obamacare. And while the administration and top Democrats are trying to put a smiley face on the law and their sole involvement in passing it, the fact is if they didn't think they were in trouble because of it, this propaganda push would not be necessary.