Organizing for Action, President Barack Obama's campaign organization, has begun a social media campaign encouraging its supporters to talk about the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," during the Thanksgiving holiday.
The campaign mostly seems designed to encourage parents to get their adult children without employer-provided health insurance to sign up for health insurance on the ACA's exchanges. At BarackObama.com, OFA's website, supporters can watch a video and learn about the suggested four steps for encouraging family members to sign up.
Step one is to "send a packing list" so that their children will bring what they need to sign up for health insurance on the ACA website, healthcare.gov, such as their social security number and pay stubs or W-2, when they arrive for Thanksgiving.
Step two is to plan your health care talk by choosing a place and time. "Think about what matters to your family member. Make it memorable!" OFA advises. Parents are also encouraged to "make it personal," "be persistent, but keep it positive" and "integrate the talk into family time."
Step three includes conversation tips. OFA suggests that you, "Start by asking: 'Have you thought about signing up for health insurance on the new marketplace?'" Then "offer to walk them through it," "ask them to make a plan and commit to it," and "don't forget to follow up."
Step four is to "pledge to have the talk" by entering your email and zip code into Barack Obama's campaign website and clicking, "I WILL."
The ACA needs a lot of young, healthy people to sign up on the exchanges for it to function as designed. If those who sign up mostly include older people and people with greater health needs, the participating insurance companies will enter what some call a "death spiral": Not enough healthy people will be contributing to the insurance pool so costs will rise. As costs rise more people will drop out. As more people drop out, insurance companies will be unable to pay customer health care costs. This "death spiral" could lead to the collapse of the exchanges, which would also bode ill for the rest of the ACA.