Framing – By Matt McDaniel

When we discussed framing in class I was forcibly reminded of some truly damning framing that happens in the health care industry.  Specifically this is in the political arena where people find ways to frame arguments against health care in such a way that it actually encourages people to work against their own best interests.  The following is a video from late night television of people on the street being asked whether they prefer the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare.  What they weren’t told was that ObamaCare is just a nickname for the Affordable Care Act.

 As you can see, the attaching of one politician’s name to the idea of a health care package suddenly divided people on which they preferred, people who supported Barack Obama were for ObamaCare and thought the Affordable Care Act was a mistake, people who didn’t like Barack Obama were gung-ho for the affordable care act and were willing to talk about how much better it was than ObamaCare without ever realizing that they were comparing something to itself.

This is not just an issue with the Affordable Care Act.  There is currently one politician who is running with a policy of truly universal health care.  He is arguing to give every American access to health care regardless of whether they can afford it. How is this being framed by his opponents?  People talk about how it will raise taxes.  Obviously nobody wants their taxes raised, who wants to pay more money?  What they aren’t told as the other side of the argument is whose taxes would go up and what the actual cost for those people would be.  Now, if you’re like me, even a hundred dollars a year more in costs would be too much to want to pay it.  Plot Twist: Even with taxes going up it would actually save most people money.  bernietax-3

The savings comes from them no long having to pay health insurance premiums for themselves  or their family.  This would be bad for Health Insurance companies but good for the average person, so naturally politicians are standing against it, as the health insurance companies are the ones who donate massive amounts to their campaign rather than the regular people.  The way that they frame the issue makes it look like something that nobody would want, despite the fact that in actuality it would be to their benefit.  That is the risk of taking information you receive at face value.  Sometimes it serves to move away from the framing and consider the actual numbers.


4 thoughts on “Framing – By Matt McDaniel

  1. I can’t tell if you’re for or against Bernie Sanders. Bernie just loves giving away free stuff. Overall, Bernie’s plan for the U.S would put us in multi-trillions of dollars in debt. But I agree with this post. When a name is labeled to something, especially a president’s, many negative connotations come with it. Its sad that people don’t know that the Affordable Health Care Act and Obamacare are the same thing. Also, I bet at least 70% of Americans don’t even know what it does or what benefits come with it. And there’s also no really easy way for the people to educate themselves. I don’t think though universal health care is very realistic. But what do I know? There shouldn’t be framing because framing only benefits those who are framing it, obviously! – Emma Kidder


    • Bernie’s plan is very specific on how it’s being paid. He is ending corporate welfare and closing tax loopholes that let corporations claim billions in tax refunds without paying anything


  2. The real shame about the health care debate is that we aren’t debating health care, only who will pay and how we will pay for it. I hope that with all of us now forced to pay and play in the health care insurance game we can come to a consensus on what is causing our health to suffer and what public health steps we are willing to take as a society.

    Mike Cappel


  3. Really interesting post, liked how you talked about framing in relation to the Affordable Care Act. I remember seeing this video when it came out and thinking that it’s almost kinda sad that a lot of people don’t know the difference. Their should be more education about what it is rather than just politicians stating and yelling about their opinions. Agree with one of the other comments about how its shame that the health care debate isn’t even about health care just who’s paying for it. Thanks for the post enjoyed it.
    -Cori Wolfe


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