Supporters of President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare reform law, the Affordable Care Act, gathered en masse tonight by phone. The goal: protect Obamacare by using the same tactic Donald Trump mastered in 2016, emotion. Attendees were told to assemble an arsenal of heartfelt testimonials from relatives, friends, and co-workers who depend on the law. Then spread them. Remind everyone of the tangible repercussions that would result from its destruction.
Axelrod: Affordable Care Act Serves Blue, Red & Everything Between
The conference call is an important part of Democrats’ aggressive to defend the objectives of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It serves to energize and engage the progressive community after the recent election defeat.
David Axelrod was guest host. Axelrod is former White House senior advisor and Obama chief political strategist. He shared the moving story of finding his son blue and lifeless. Since he had excellent health insurance, his son received fast medical attention and diagnosis of a seizure disorder. Preserving the ACA should be non-partisan, Axelrod told the group. The law’s benefits serve red, blue, and everything in between.
That need to fight Obamacare’s repeal was echoed by Organizing For Action (OFA)’s Health Care Campaign Manager, Saumya Narechaina. In the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, OFA was known as Obama For America. When not in campaign mode, it functions as a full-time, non-profit advocacy organization aimed to help Democrats retain their policy wins. Since health care has been a core focus for OFA since 2009, it is maybe the best organizer for this fight.
Narechaina said neither the Republican Congress nor the incoming Trump Administration have a coherent repeal-replace plan. However, Democrats should not sit idle just because the dog caught the car. The threats are real. Listeners were reminded of the expansive protections included in the Affordable Care Act, in addition to what Donald Trump and many Republicans have cherry-picked lately as worthy elements to keep.
Organizing For Action Seeks to Empower Citizen Obamacare Supporters
Most noteworthy, OFA promised to meet on future calls and via its social organizing platform called Connect (connect.barackobama.com). Narechaina assured participants that OFA would use its resources in the coming days to launch ads online, on TV and radio, and through mobile apps. It also hinted at strategies to keep the American people aware of how the ACA positively impacts their world.
Due to expected anti-Obamacare campaigns from conservative groups, Narechaina pledged frequent updates, beginning with an email outlining ways activists can communicate the pro-message. Talking points will be part of that dissemination, and instructions on how to leverage Connect.
Finally, members were prompted to write and call their U.S. Congressmen and Senators, and to do so with emotion. One approach mentioned was to highlight how the Affordable Care Act betters their life and the lives of fellow Americans. Another was to describe their life without Obamacare.
One thing was left clear: those supportive of the Affordable Care Act and President Obama’s legacy achievement will not go quietly into the night.