Bad Brand? Sebelius Responds To Rising Criticism of Obamacare By Suggesting A Name Change

250px-Cocacola-5cents-1900_edit1220px-Kathleen_Sebelius_official_portraitThere has been a great deal of introspection among leading Democrats after the bruising defeat in the last election — much of its directed at the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or “Obamacare.” It has ranged from Schumer’s view that the law was political blunder to Harkin’s view that it was a poorly drafted mistake. This week, the highest ranked Democrat, Senate majority leader Harry Reid, said that the Obama Administration may have doomed Democrats in Congress with its poor management and blunders in the rollout of the program. Now the person ultimately responsible for that mismanagement and failure, former Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, has her own prognosis: bad brand name.

At the time of the failed rollout, I believed that the most obvious response was at a minimum to fire Sebelius, the subject of a past column. However, the Administration and Democrats circled the wagons and Sebelius kept her job.

Now Sebelius explained on Wednesday that “Obamacare, no question, has a very bad brand that has been driven intentionally by a lot of misinformation and a lot of paid advertising.” I would not say that, after hundreds of millions of wasted dollars and hundreds of “fixes” to a poorly drafted law, the problem is the name. However, it reminded me of a story that I heard while attending the University of Chicago. This may be apocryphal but it is too good a story to check as they say. The story goes that Coca Cola was struggling with loss of market share against 7UP due to the appeal of the “uncola” in the anti-establishment environment of the 60s. So the giant corporation hired a counterculture icon from the University of Chicago (Severn Dardan is often named). The story goes that the cultural guru disappeared with a huge upfront fee to “study” the issue until the company demanded that he appear at a board meeting to give his recommendations for the future Coca Cola. The man walked into the board room in overalls and simply said “change the name” and walked out.

Now, while the hippy story may not pan out, I have an easy substitute from Sebelius. Just change the name. Problem solved.

Source: Politico

124 thoughts on “Bad Brand? Sebelius Responds To Rising Criticism of Obamacare By Suggesting A Name Change”

  1. Well, one thing is for sure, we can call it the uninsured because that’s what it’s turning out to be in my state with the poor medicaid people. (Uncola – Uninsured) Gonna take more than changing the name – like stop passing the buck

  2. Paul you are the the epitome of one who suffers from epistemic closure. I refuse to waste another comment on you, this will be the last. One must at some point stop wasting precious time, energy and attention on those who have so completely closed themselves off from learning anything new.

    1. Inga – by closing me off you are guilty of Epistemic Closure yourself. Sad, isn’t. There are many things I refuse to learn about including the workings of the internal combustion engine. I have too many areas of expertise as it is that I need to keep up in without adding new ones. However, I do add new ones, but they are on my timeline, not someone else.

      BTW, glad to see you found a new phrase of the week, however, it would help if you used it correctly.

  3. Inga – when you actually figure out what Epistemic Closure is, get back to me. We can discuss it. Right now you are a little closed off yourself.

    1. Inga – like Rolling Stone, the only thing I read in the NYT is the entertainment section.

  4. Paul, you refuse to extend your own knowledge because of preconceived fallacious notions of your superior intelligence, thereby you have closed off a source of knowledge that you are obviously in dire need of.

    1. Inga – notions of my superior intelligence are not fallacious, and I am careful who I get my information from. You are an unreliable source, therefore I do not waste my time watching poorly sourced material from you. There are many people that I will read their link or look at their video, but you are not on that list.

    1. Inga – if you actually knew what Epistemic Closure meant, you would realize it does not fit in this situation.

  5. Watch the video posted by Inga. If you can’t understand what this is all about after that then we’ll just have to move on to other stuff. Read the report in the NY times about the scamming private sector and remember you and I and the rest of the average people pay for these scum. G’night

    1. Issac – I do not accept the NYT as a reliable source and I refuse on principle to watch any video posted by Inga. I have been following the trashing of the HC system as it has gone along. Obamacare is a mess and making it single payer is not going to make it better. The UK’s NHS makes the VA look like a finely tuned engine. Canada’s system only works because it allows its overflow to come to the United States for work. Mexico’s works because half their population comes to the United States for free work.

      BTW, you still haven’t answered my question.

    1. issac – I am working to read more better. Still, reading either Canuck or American you have failed to answer my question.

  6. Chip, Steve, Karen, Pogo

    You all keep referring to the health care system in the US versus the systems in Canada, Great Britain, etc. Firstly, the only news that gets out concerns the faults. I am personally connected to the health care system in Canada and there are problems. However, the system is two fold, the administrative side and the medical side. If the US switched from the parasitical private insurers-read the recent NY Times article about he 100 billion scammed by these stalwart defenders of the American way-to government administered insurance and left the medical system alone, it would result in hundreds and hundreds of billions in savings. No one can scam like the private sector.

    So, apples to apples. Insurance administration in the US is 5 to 7 times what it is in the other countries. Change that first and then talk about comparing the systems. An apple and and orange, not and apple and an apple. By the way in provinces like Alberta that are flush with cash, the medical services are better than in say Newfoundland. However, in all cases insurance administration is cheaper.

    Keep the unused MRI machines, the crooked doctors, the hospitals with empty beds. Change the insurance system.

    Make that distinction.

    In any event for every instance of a wait or any other travesty in Canada there are a hundred failures in the US of a different sort. People die because they cannot afford health care. You read about it every day.

    1. issac – if the Canadian health system was so damn good why do Canucks spend the fall making doctors appts in Arizona for the winter when they visit. They fill the rooms of our specialists and clog the streets with their traffic. Love their money though, except they like to live in trailer parks.

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