Back To Articles

–> Breaking Through: How to Take On Opponents' Lies & Build Lasting Support for the Affordable Care Act

July 18, 2012

“Death panels! $500B cut from Medicare! Obamacare is a government takeover of health care! Obamacare is the biggest tax increase in history!” Let’s be real. We’ve heard these lies and smears before — many times, on our TVs, on the radio, from friends at the supermarket, and even at church. 

Opponents of the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare, because Hey, he does care!) spent hundreds of millions of dollars to spread misinformation about the law to scare, divide and poision folks to the idea of reform.

And they’ve gotten some bang for their buck:

After spending $235 mil to relentlessly smear the Affordable Care Act (Pennsylvania was hit with more of this than nearly any other state!), political opponents of reform who were funded largely by the insurance industry, succeeded in giving folks a bad feeling about “Obamacare.”

Thankfully, they did not succeed in turning folks against the actual provisions of the law — which Americans continue to support, overwhelmingly. For example, a Reuters/Ipsos Poll conducted just before the Supreme Court ruling showed that:

56% of Americans said they opposed the Affordable Care Act, with 44% in favor. The biggest factor driving dislike: the minimum coverage provision (mandate), which 61% of Americans polled said they opposed.

BUT, in the same poll: 

82% of Americans said they supported a ban on pre-existing condition denials;

61% support young adults being able to stay covered until age 26; and

72% back requiring companies with more than 50 employees to provide insurance for their employees.

So, our task is to reconnect those dots — that were purposefully driven apart by a well-funded, relentless campaign of misinformation.

The good news is, we can do that in ways big and small: by writing a letter to the editor, or getting together a group of folks from your church or club, or leaving information about the law in places around your community.

Get the training, support and resources you need to be an effective communicator who can cut through the noise and connect with folks about why this law is so important, and how it helps all of us. 

Join PHAN’s Communication & Outreach Committee! Click here to learn more and sign up! It’s fun, important and a great use of your activist time! 

Contact Erin with any questions: 412-512-9225 or