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Posts Tagged ‘Obamascare’

KOMMUNIKATION: En av de mest infekterade politiska debatterna under president Barack Obamas tid i Vita huset har varit kring reformeringen av hälso- och sjukvårdssystemet. Inte ens krigen i Irak och Afghanistan har piskat upp liknande stämningar.

Partierna har inte bara mobiliserat sina politiker och organisationer utan även en lång rad politiska strateger, lingvister och psykologer i kampanjen.

Sällan har ord varit så viktiga för att sätta bilden av de hot och möjligheter som man har velat att amerikanarna skall förknippa med ”Obamcare” (eller ”Obamascare”).

Health care stirs powerful emotions, and because the subject is so complicated, people are unable to balance their emotional reactions with rational ones. Moreover, appeals to fear, anger, and hate really gain traction when ignorance is wide and deep.

Och det är här som alla PR-konsulter, strateger, lingvister och psykologer kommer in i bilden för att styra upp den politiska kommunikationen.

För att få en bild av hur debatten har förts inom partierna kan rekommendera en artikel Sharon Begley på Newsweek.

It is a truism of political campaigns that you can’t beat somebody with nobody, or something with nothing. It is equally true in propaganda wars. Opponents of Obama’s health-care reform have un-leashed all the bogeymen and pushed all the emotional buttons. ”All the horror stories are being told by the Republican side,” says [linguist Geoffrey] Nunberg.

The Democrats have struggled to make an emotional connection with the public, even though it is possible to do that without lying. [Psychologist Drew] Westen suggests the Democrats ”should say that, since health insurance is tied to employment, ‘the current system takes away your freedom to quit your job.’ ”

Berkeley linguist George Lakoff thinks the White House could win hearts and minds by emphasizing that in the current system, ”insurance companies deny you care.” And the administration could score extra points by describing people who have been bankrupted or killed by that denial. There is no shortage of examples, from Blue Shield denying high-tech cancer surgery that oncologists said was patients’ only hope, to Cigna nixing a liver transplant that was a 17-year-old’s only chance of survival. She died. (Wall Street rewards insurers for denying claims; a company with a claims-paid rate of, say, 80 percent is viewed as better run than one with a rate of 85 percent.) ”If you told the story of how greedy insurers deny coverage to sick people, you could whip up emotions in favor of reform,” says Westen.

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