Darrow: The GOP’s Health-Care Messaging Needs Serious Work

Writing in The National Review, Millennial Policy Center Fellow Juliana Darrow discusses the need for advocates of healthcare reform - specifically Republicans - to better message their case:

“The current health-care debate is often distilled into a series of binary choices for public consumption: good or bad, healthy or sick, help for the rich or help for the poor. As a result, a growing number of Americans are starting to believe that the GOP’s health-care legislation is a cruel ploy to hurt millions of Americans. This is in large part a messaging failure: Good policy must be sold with good arguments, and Republicans have not articulated their own vision of what the American health-care system should look like.

That’s not to say that such a vision doesn’t exist, of course. A conservative approach to health policy would ideally create a thriving market system, with a sufficient number of insurers to compete for consumer business leading to low prices and quality coverage. A targeted safety net would protect the truly vulnerable, and tax credits would be provided on a sliding scale to those who need help purchasing private coverage. Fewer regulations would mean a variety of insurance choices to fit individual needs. The use of health savings accounts would be expanded so that people could take control of their own health-care decisions. And lower taxes would spur economic growth, in turn creating more jobs and upping private-coverage rates.

This overview is simplistic, and the details of any health-care bill certainly matter. But the fact remains that conservatives have failed to effectively convey to the American people the core belief they bring to this debate: Government is not the most efficient way to provide quality health care. Democrats communicate their health-care position in understandable sound bites with obvious surface appeal; it is essential that Republicans do the same for their own vision of a robust, free-market health-care system.”

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If they can’t articulate their vision of a free-market system clearly and appealingly, Republicans will struggle to win the debate.Juliana Darrow, Fellow

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