Oct 4, 2010

America Needs YOU! (To explain why the health care bill works for working Americans.)

The other side is running full tilt at what they sneeringly term "Obamacare," a mythical bill that's supposedly already driving up costs for small business and creating soaring premiums. And since most Americans still don't really understand or know much about the health care bill, it's been easy to create that monstrous image of a bloated, expensive bill that hurts, not helps.

But not anymore. Candidates and politicians who voted for health care are starting to run on it now, bringing the immediate benefits of the bill sharply into focus.

As E.J. Dionne points out in his column today:

Why the sudden willingness to run on health care? The key reason is that the law didn't begin to take effect until Sept. 23, and the first elements to kick in are very popular. They include the guarantee that children cannot be denied coverage because of preexisting conditions, a requirement that insurance companies allow kids to stay on their parents' health plans until age 26 and a ban on "rescissions" through which insurance companies could abruptly drop sick people from coverage.

Around the country, Democratic candidates are calling these parts of the bill a "Patient's Bill of Rights," as Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.), put it in a column in the Huffington Post.

Dionne also points out that Democrats are starting to expose not just the good points of the bill, but also Republicans' lies about the bill. As he puts it, there are two competing visions of the health care bill in this election:
One is the parody Republicans have lovingly created that casts the health-care law as a big-government monstrosity with no redeeming features. The other is the law itself, an admittedly sprawling legislative compromise that nonetheless moves things in the right direction -- and most of whose individual elements voters support.
Democratic politicians are finally starting to expose the monstrosity as a false vision, and the sprawling-but-mostly-good-compromise as the true one. But they can't do it alone. UFCW members, like most union members across the country, had a unique seat in the health care debate and the opportunity to learn the inside and out of the bill like few other Americans. And it's up to us--to progressives and union members and labor supporters and anyone who works for working people--to educate our friends and family members on what this bill is really all about.

We need to tell them that the health care bill does some really good things (kids can't be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions, young adults can stay on their parents' insurance till age 26, people can't be kicked off their health care for getting sick) but also needs improvement, like any big bill. And we need to convey to every one we know that many Republicans--especially Tea Party Republicans--want to repeal health care, and all those great benefits that just kicked in. We need to let them know that voting for those Tea Party Republicans is really a vote to get rid of that health care bill, not to fix it.

Here's a video to help you get started:

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