Message Matters

Reclaiming "Obamacare"

SUMMARY: After hearing the term misused as a smear for years, Americans are reclaiming "Obamacare." Here's how to talk about what "Obamacare" really means -- and why we'll hear "I like Obamacare" more and more as the health care law gets implemented.

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COVERS AMERICANS WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS

What Obamacare does: Insurance companies can no longer shut out 17 million children with pre-existing conditions, rip off their parents with sky-high premiums, or cut their coverage.

Look ahead: Insurance companies won't be able to use pre-existing conditions as an excuse to deny coverage to everyone else, either.

Core value: We can't let insurance companies go back to denying our families and friends coverage just because they've been sick before or have an illness now, like cancer or diabetes.

Killer fact: 105 million Americans -- a third of our population -- no longer lifetime limits on their health coverage thanks to the health law.


ENDS LIFETIME LIMITS FOR AMERICANS WITH SERIOUS, CHRONIC CONDITIONS

What Obamacare does: 105 million Americans with life-threatening illnesses no longer have to live in fear of hitting lifetime dollar limits on their coverage.

Core value: Moms and dads who get sick should be able to focus on seeing their kids grow up, not worrying when their insurance companies will cut them off.

Killer fact: Medical problems used to contribute to almost half of all bankruptcy filings, even though three-quarters of the people who filed had health insurance.


BRINGS DOWN COSTS FOR WOMEN

What Obamacare does: 45 million women now have access to preventive health care services like mammograms without having to pay extra out of pocket.

Look ahead: Insurance companies won't be able to charge women more than men for the same benefits or deny coverage because of a "pre-existing condition" like pregnancy or having been a victim of domestic violence.

Core value: Mothers and daughters should never have to pay more for health care benefits just because they're women.

Killer fact: Health insurance companies routinely charge women more than men for the same coverage -- costing women up to $1 billion more a year.


STRENGTHENS MEDICARE FOR SENIORS

What Obamacare does: Nearly 50 million Americans can save money on their prescription drugs and get free preventive services through Medicare.

Look ahead: Medicare's trust fund is in better financial shape today than for most of its history thanks to the health care law

Core value: Americans count on Medicare to be able to retire in dignity -- we need leaders who want to make it stronger, not take it away.

Killer fact: More than 5 million people with Medicare have saved $5 billion on their medicines so far thanks to Obamacare.


INSURES YOUNG ADULTS TO PROTECT THEIR FUTURE

What Obamacare does: More than 3 million young people are now covered because insurance companies can no longer kick them off their parents' plans.

Killer fact: College students are more likely to be uninsured than any other age group, leaving them and their families one car accident or major injury away from bankruptcy.

Core value: Fixing our broken health care system is about more than what we do for ourselves -- it's about the country we leave to the next generation.


We develop messaging by aggregating, analyzing and distilling polling, tested messaging, and expert recommendations, and monitoring the media to identify what is and isn't working. See here for some of the experts and organizations we draw on.

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