There ought to be a bloodletting.
There's really no excuse for the failure of the campaign to pass, and then defend, President Obama's health care reform. If Democrats can't win the war on something as simple as health care, then whoever was in charge of that war, then and now, deserves to lose their jobs.
I'm sorry, I know public relations and messaging isn't easy, but it's also not as hard as some people would have you believe. Often, PR campaigns fail because the "client" tries to rein in the message. "You're being too mean, you'll offend someone," they say. So we ratchet back the response while the right ratchets things up.
In the case of health care reform, the client was the President. And he reined in the messaging because he didn't want to offend players (Republicans, conservative Dems, pharmaceutical and insurance companies) that he hoped would eventually support the reform effort. The hope was naive, and it was a huge mistake.
But that doesn't explain why the effort to defend the law, once passed, has been so non-existant. It's almost as if someone advised the President to stop even talking about health care reform, but even that doesn't explain why outside groups haven't done a better job of defending the law.
I mean, how hard is it to demonize insurance companies?
How hard is it to educate Americans about the injustice of big drug companies charging us five times what they charge for the same drugs in Europe?
Why, after two years, do we still not have an answer to two simple questions: Will health care reform lower my premiums and increase my benefits?
A lot of people share the blame for health care reform bombing in the polls. And it's simply too easy to complain that the Republicans are too good at messaging. Yeah the Republicans are good. But our guys absolutely suck.
Maybe it's time we figured out who it was who lost the health care reform message war, get rid of them, and replace them with people who understand how to sell a message and win.
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