Thursday, 20 March 2014

The Repeal Pledge

The first thing I noticed about this website was the use of the colours red, white & blue in not only the sticker-styled header image, but also the first image of a hospital from the outside. These are the colours of the American flag, which are often used to represent the concept of "freedom", immediately giving a subtle but good indication of the complaints this website raises against Obamacare.

Sure enough, the first piece of bolded text rails against government takeover and intrusion into the personal lives of citizens. The claim is also made that the existence of Obamacare goes against the will of the general population and is thus not in the spirit of Democracy, a very important concept to many Americans (especially on the right wing, where most of the Obamacare opposition comes from). The fears held are elaborated on at the end, interestingly, indicating that this is a website intended not for gaining new converts to the cause but rather to inform people already in on the cause of how to take action that will benefit it.

The grievances themselves often reflect the issues raised in Michael Moore's documentary Sicko. "give control to patients and doctors, rather than bureaucrats" and "promote a system in which good and timely care is available to all our citizens" particularly brings to mind the oft-raised issue (of debatable accuracy) of waiting lists and new treatments being withheld for some time in countries such as Canada and the UK. "make medical care, and the practice of medicine, affordable" indicates that Obamacare may not have made it cheaper for all citizens to obtain medical care, as was its main selling point. "encourage continued innovation and investment in the development of new medical treatments" implies that, somehow, research into medical treatments is motivated by free market competition in the same way as research into new products (I confess that I have difficulty empathising with this one). "honor our traditions of freedom of choice and privacy" is, perhaps, the most stereotypically "conservative" of these viewpoints - personal freedom is very important to the American right, so the idea of the penalty tax involved with Obamacare is a big no-no for them.

The positions are not impossible, or even difficult to understand. After all, it is not as if even liberals claim Obamacare is a perfect system, and it is in keeping with founding American ideals that one should be able to opt out of anything if they so wish. However, I cannot shake  the feeling that this is a kneejerk reaction to the idea of "socialism", still looked down on as a dirty word in American politics.

1 comment:

  1. Agreeing with your points Michael, I also noticed the photos used along the sides of the website are mainly family oriented. This can influence a person into think ObamaCare is not for families and communities although it is probably the opposite. It may also encourage people into thinking that you cannot have a happy family with ObamaCare, as most people are happy in the pictures that are previous to the healthcare reform.

    I think most Americans just don't want the government in charge of their healthcare, which is sort of understandable with their governments past however, other countries do it just fine and America could be better off with a healthcare system like Britain but this will not ever be the case as most are so against it.