Monday, May 26, 2014

Rural publisher says president should have focused attention on uninsured poor to boost Obamacare

"Oddly, given the importance to the president and health-care economy, there wasn’t a sustained, dramatic and memorable campaign from the White House to educate the public about exactly what 'Obamacare' would and would not do," writes H. Brandt Ayers, publisher of The Anniston Star in Alabama.

"The president could have called together the White House regulars — the networks, wire services and major newspapers — and invited them to follow him on a tour to show the public the face of Americans who have no insurance or family doctor," Ayers writes. "He could have led them to West Virginia, where teams of doctors, dentists and nurses volunteer annually to treat the hill people who have no insurance."

With such use of the bully pulpit, TV news outlets "could send out to the country pictures of the army of hill folk from little towns who traveled, sometimes for great distances, to see the only doctor or dentist they will ever see," Ayers envisions. "Reporters could stand in line with an army of the wretched, talking to them about their lives until their number came up and it was their turn to enter the improvised clinic."

The beginning of Ayers's column is also a good ending: "In time, the Affordable Care Act may be seen as a fully accepted, even noble achievement of President Obama’s administration, but it also may be seen as the act that devoured him, rendering him mute when he needed to be most articulate."

1 comment:

Al Cross said...

Ayers quotes presidential historian James David Barber: “The presidency is much more than an institution. It is a focus of feelings. . . . The presidency is the focus of the most intense and persistent emotions in the American polity. The President is a symbolic leader, the one figure who draws together the peoples’ hopes and fears for the political future. On top of all his routine duties he must carry that off — or fail.”