Former Scholars say Americans respond to appeals to fairness as well as to appeals to self-interest in discussions over health care reform.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, June 13, 2011
n a series of legendary television advertisements that aired in the early 1990s, a fictional middle-class couple known as Harry and Louise helped derail an effort to overhaul the nation’s health care system by stoking fears about how the legislation would affect Americans’ pocketbooks. Those ads sent a message that still resonates today.
In the more recent campaign to overhaul the nation’s health care system, President Obama spoke more often about the benefits of the law to the individual than to society as a whole, according to former Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) scholars, now alumni, Julia Lynch and Sarah Gollust. They argue that a stronger moral case on behalf of what became the Affordable Care Act would have created stronger, more lasting support for it and might have blunted some of the ongoing battles that continue today, a year after reform became law.