How the Left is Using the War on Women to Trump Obamacare’s Failures

 

Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli lost the gubernatorial race in Virginia. A couple of weeks before the election, I wrote a piece predicting he would lose and that it would be driven by the war on women. While I recognized then and now that there are many factors that affect an election’s outcome, I find this one particularly troublesome for many reasons: It was a major element in the Democratic strategy against Mitt Romney in 2012, leading to his loss; it was a huge part of the ad campaign against Cuccinelli, and he lost despite gains in the late hour due to the Obamacare rollout; and it will be a significant component of the Democratic strategy in 2014 and 2016.

But, you might be saying, the Democrats use a variety of issues to demonize the right, not just the war on women—they use allegations of racism, the environment, immigration, etc. I agree. However, the war on women is light-years more significant—and deadly. Here’s why.

Republicans believe they have a winning message with Obamacare. The rollout has been a disaster, and people are waking up to see that they’re actually going to have to pay for the “Affordable” Healthcare Act. The Obamacare debacle even had an impact on the Virginia race, as McAuliffe saw his lead among women shrink in the days leading up to the election. The truth about Obamacare was winning the day, leading many Republicans to believe that they can win if they just stick with this message. Women, surely, will turn against the Democrats and their war-on-women narrative and vote for Republicans to get rid of Obamacare. That’s the silver lining. That’s the hope.

Except for one thing: The Democrats already have a plan in place and they’re going to neutralize the GOP Obamacare advantage among women by convincing them that Obamacare itself is a “woman’s issue.” The war on women will not be lessened by the abominable healthcare act; it will be intensified and even strengthened.  The GOP’s greatest advantage could become it’s greatest weakness.

Here’s how:

Liberal culture warriors are already on the move: Stephen Colbert—the news guru for many young women in America—mocked Fox News this week for being “outraged” that under Obamacare “women are equal to men.”

Oh, Obamacare—so rife with problems! The disgrace of having a barely functional Web site is overshadowed only by the appalling fact that the healthcare act makes women (gasp) equal to men!

“When it comes to medical care, men always get the short end of the long end of the scope,” joked Stephen Colbert on “The Colbert Report.” “You see folks — up until now, health insurance in America has always struck a delicate balance. Women paid higher premiums than men, and in return, men paid less. The system worked.”

“Under Obamacare, men will pay the same amount as women,” said Colbert, expressing mock outrage, “and yet we still don’t get to pass a cantaloupe with toenails through our genitals!”

  • The Los Angeles Times and other media are already exposing how heartless conservatives are for not wanting women to have maternity coverage. The exchange between Kathleen Sebelius and Renee Ellmers (R-NC) is fuel for their fire—and it’s spreading:

Anti-Obamacare conservatives are chuckling over an exchange from the House’s grilling of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Wednesday morning, in which Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) challenged Sebelius to explain why men should have to pay for maternity coverage in their health insurance plans.

“To the best of your knowledge, has a man ever delivered a baby?” Ellmers asked. Ellmers and her cheering section seem to think this was hilarious, a conclusive, slam-dunk, let-me-hear-a-rimshot punchline. “Ellmers was on her ‘A’ game,” the deep thinkers over at Breitbart decided. The reality is, of course, that Ellmers’ question revealed only her profound ignorance about how health insurance works, and her lack of desire to learn. And that goes for everyone else who thought this was a smart, telling blow. 

The article goes on to explain why maternity care is so important—and necessary:

  1. It takes two to tango. It’s true, as Ellers observed, no man has ever given birth to a baby. It’s also true that no baby has ever been born without a man being involved somewhere along the line. Limit maternity coverage only to women of childbearing age, and you’re giving many of these guys a free pass. 
  2. Society has a vested interest in healthy babies and mothers. And that’s all society, because unhealthy babies and mothers impose a cost on everybody — in the expense of caring for them as wards of the public, and in the waste of social resources that comes from children unable to reach their full potential as members of society because of injuries or illnesses caused by poor prenatal and postnatal health.
  3. Universal coverage is the only way to make maternity coverage affordable. 
  • Liberal activist groups are already in motion. A campaign called #GetCovered is being promoted by organizations hell-bent to convince women that no matter the costs or failings of Obamacare, it’s worth it because it’s about protecting women’s health and their rights.

    After the rollout, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) tweeted, “Being a woman is no longer a preexisting condition.” This will be repeated from now until election day 2016. And it will resonate. It will resonate because women will become convinced that Republicans who want to delay, defund, repeal, or fix Obamacare want to take away their reproductive health coverage. Nasty Republicans want women back in the kitchen, barefoot, pregnant, and uninsured. 

    As Elizabeth Warren said, “I have a daughter and I have granddaughters and I will never vote to let a group of backward-looking ideologues cut women’s access to birth control. We have lived in that world and we are not going back. Not ever.”

    Now, groups like the Feminist Majority, Get Covered America, Young Invincibles, and the National Women’s Law Center are in full community-organizing mode to push the narrative that Obamacare is good for women, and anyone who wants to get rid of Obamacare is against women.

  • The left is glossing over Obamacare’s failures with war-on-women messaging, motivating women to support the healthcare act because they’ve been treated unfairly by men in the past. This headline from the New Republic speaks volumes : “Obamacare Makes Men Pay for Maternity Care. Good!” 

Stories of real-life Obamacare “rate shock” have revived an old debate: Previously, health insurers could charge women higher premiums than they charged men. Insurers could also exclude maternity benefits. Obamacare prohibits those practices and conservatives are angry. Why should men have to pay higher insurance prices for services they will never use directly?

This is it. This is the narrative. It’s about women’s rights. The GOP wants to take those rights away. It’s the “old debate” and it’s ongoing (the left will never let it go as long as it’s working). Under the “old system,” women were taken advantage of by men. Under Obamacare, women are protected and given equality. And conservatives are angry about it! 

Conservatives are the enemy, ladies, and don’t you forget it. The problems with Obamacare—the higher prices, limited choices, lower quality of care—pale in comparison to angry conservatives wanting to take away your equality and your rights. Don’t let them. Vote for Democrats. #GetCovered.

  • Democrats are there to help, no matter how confusing the law is. They’re the compassionate ones. As Kaiser Health News says, 

You’ve heard people arguing about Obamacare (officially known as The Affordable Care Act or ACA) for months … but you may have tuned it all out, because it’s all so confusing and you don’t even know how — or if — it affects you.

But starting in 2014, the law will require people who can afford insurance to carry it or risk paying a fine, so now’s the time to pay attention. And the fact is, you may discover that there are lots of benefits you’ll be able to take advantage of.

And what are those benefits?

  1. You can stay on your parents’ health policy until you turn 26.
  2. You’re entitled to free preventive care, including birth control.
  3. You’ll have maternity coverage, no matter what. You can’t be charged more than a guy.
  4. You can’t be rejected for having a “pre-existing condition.”
  5. If you’re a breastfeeding mom, you can pump at work more comfortably. …The law also requires health plans to cover the costs of breastfeeding equipment and breastfeeding counseling without a copay.

This is the message. This is what will be promoted to counter the failures of Obamacare. And if the GOP doesn’t invest some brains and money into a counter-narrative and take this “war on women” seriously, they will lose. Yes, the debacle of Obamacare could be an advantage—but the left isn’t going to sit idly by and let it become a club in the hands of the GOP. They’re not sitting idly by now. They’re on the move. What is the GOP doing?

Photo Credit: Tabitha Kaylee Hawk/southerntabitha on Flickr, under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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  1. Profile Photo Thatcher
    @BryanGStephens

    The GOP is losing. Like it always does. Cannot message. Cannot do anything.

    Most corrupt, most law-breaking admin in my lifetime, and the GOP can do not one thing to win at a national level.

    I expect, no matter how bad it gets, we don’t get Congress back and we don’t win POTUS. People will demand MORE government to fix the problems caused by government.

    Obamacare is working as intended.

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Inactive
    @DCMcAllister

    If anyone heard, I was on Rush yesterday talking briefly about this. Bo Snerdley was great to talk to about the war on women. He gets it! :)

    • #2
  3. Profile Photo Member
    @genferei

    Why isn’t the “Coalition to Protect Women’s Health Care” an anti-Obamacare group? In other words, why aren’t the professional activists on the conservative end of the spectrum not astroturfing^W leading public opinion like crazy on this thing? Doesn’t Reince have a strike-team of rent-a-women to immediately flood the zone on all these “women’s” issues? How hard is it to print t-shirts, make signs and hire a bunch of shift workers to pose for the cameras as The Face of Outrage(TM)?

    • #3
  4. Profile Photo Member
    @RyanM

    I haven’t ready this yet, Denise, but I will.  :)  I wanted to comment about that sign that the lady is holding:  “I love Obamacare.”  I have a prosecutor-friend who has a bumper sticker on her car that says the same thing.  She makes over twice what I do, and has a fantastic health-care plan through the city.  She recently had an emergency surgery for a big tumor that they found in one of her kidneys.

    I’d ask them both the same question.  Do you have obamacare?  Were you one of those six people who rushed to sign up?

    Nah – it’s just like all of the congressmen who enacted the thing to begin with:

    I love Obamacare!

    Then use it.

    No, I have something better.  I love it for YOU.

    • #4
  5. Profile Photo Inactive
    @CrowsNest

    I could go through these various quotes and point out the absurdity of our current laws and moral thinking re:babies in the womb: here they are treated as sacred and a ground for equal care at equal price to men (despite the obvious natural difference), while there they are aborted on a whim without being considered babies or without any requirements to obtain a father’s consent….but that’s both too infuriating and too heartbreaking for my mood at the moment, so instead:

    D.C. McAllister: And if the GOP doesn’t invest some brains and money into a counter-narrative and take this “war on women” seriously, they will lose. Yes, the debacle of Obamacare could be an advantage—but the left isn’t going to sit idly by and let it become a club in the hands of the GOP. They’re not sitting idly by now. They’re on the move. What is the GOP doing?

    Since I have little confidence in the GOP itself investing some brains in this, wouldn’t it be helpful if the women of Ricochet helped point the way?

    What should be done?

    • #5
  6. Profile Photo Inactive
    @MateDe

    In this age of information and social media we are becoming dumber as a society. “Being a woman is no longer a preexisting condition”  is a stupid slogan but I’m sure liberal women are cheering it on and it’s much harder to make the counter to that in 160 words. I’m trying to wrap my head around the fact that so many people seem to shut off any logical thinking when it comes to politics. I guess it’s easier just go along with whatever your party says, then to actually think about the effects of those policies, and women are the worst offenders.  

    Why these women can’t understand that all of these mandates in a policy including maternity make the costs of the policy sky rocket? Then the same women freak out when they go to the Obamacare website and see how much higher their premiums and deductible costs will be. Can they NOT see the correlation? ……………My head hurts

    • #6
  7. Profile Photo Inactive
    @MateDe
    D.C. McAllister: If anyone heard, I was on Rush yesterday talking briefly about this. Bo Snerdley was great to talk to about the war on women. He gets it! :) · 16 minutes ago

    Oh WOW you got through, I’m going to listen to the podcast this afternoon. Can’t wait to hear it

    • #7
  8. Profile Photo Inactive
    @ManfredArcane

    GOP should agree that the Dems “are the compassionate ones” alright, …..”only with other people’s money”.  That’s the beginning and end of the cultural debate.

    If we frame the debate in that way, we get closer to revealing the truth than trying to explain that conservatives are truly compassionate, if you just get to know us. (<–although this is certainly true, you can’t convince folks, so why make that your battleground?)

    The truth is as I just enunciated it.  It is easy to be compassionate with other folk’s money or time/energy/property, etc…

    • #8
  9. Profile Photo Inactive
    @DCMcAllister
    Crow’s Nest:

    D.C. McAllister: And if the GOP doesn’t invest some brains and money into a counter-narrative and take this “war on women” seriously, theywill lose. Yes, the debacle of Obamacare could be an advantage—but the left isn’t going to sit idly by and let it become a club in the hands of theGOP. They’re not sitting idly by now. They’re on the move. What is the GOP doing?

    Since I have little confidence in the GOP itself investing some brains in this, wouldn’t it be helpful if the women of Ricochethelped point the way?

    What should be done? 

    Two prongs: politically and culturally. Political is short-term stuff and election centric. Culture is long term through the culture–families, schools, church, pop culture, art. Women need to change how they think about these issues and how they relate to statism.

    Politically—counter campaigns. Grass roots, activism, propaganda, negative ads against idiots on the left, positive ads promoting the compassionate people on the right. Not backing down. Finding a way to answer everything they say and do.  Social media. Compassionate but solid candidates who don’t say stupid things about women.

    • #9
  10. Profile Photo Inactive
    @CrowsNest
    Matede

    D.C. McAllister: If anyone heard, I was on Rush yesterday talking briefly about this. Bo Snerdley was great to talk to about the war on women. He gets it! :) · 16 minutes ago

    Oh WOW you got through, I’m going to listen to the podcast this afternoon. Can’t wait to hear it · 0 minutes ago

    Fantastic. Let’s see if we can’t get ahold of the clip and repost it.

    • #10
  11. Profile Photo Inactive
    @DCMcAllister
    Matede

    D.C. McAllister: If anyone heard, I was on Rush yesterday talking briefly about this. Bo Snerdley was great to talk to about the war on women. He gets it! :) · 16 minutes ago

    Oh WOW you got through, I’m going to listen to the podcast this afternoon. Can’t wait to hear it · 3 minutes ago

    It was about 15-20 minutes in to the second hour. It was brief, but he talked about my call after I hung up. 

    • #11
  12. Profile Photo Inactive
    @BrentB67

    If a couple is married (you know, man and woman, like back in the Stone Age) and they have health insurance is it broken out by his and hers policies or is it a family plan? My reason for asking this is that progressive policies seem bent on making it so that staying single is at least, if not more, attractive than being married.

    • #12
  13. Profile Photo Inactive
    @MateDe
    Crow’s Nest: I could go through these various quotes and point out the absurdity of our current laws and moral thinking re:babies in the womb: here they are treated as sacred and a ground for equal care at equal price to men (despite the obvious natural difference), while there they are aborted on a whim without being considered babies or without any requirements to obtain a father’s consent….but that’s both too infuriating and too heartbreaking for my mood at the moment, so instead:

    Why can’t we point out that many of the liberals precious Planned Parenthood clincs have subpar sanitary conditions. In Texas the bill that the pink sneaker lady filibustered had that abortion clinics be up to the same sanitary standards as other health facilities. The democrats argument was that it would cost too much to bring the standards up. Also here’s a war on women by the Democrats. They voted against the sex selection abortion ban and you got it, the gender most at risk is Female.

    Republicans have the arguments but are too afraid to use them.

    • #13
  14. Profile Photo Inactive
    @BrentB67

    Matede, the shadow of Akin from Missouri is long and dark.

    • #14
  15. Profile Photo Inactive
    @DCMcAllister
    Matede: In this age of information and social media we are becoming dumber as a society. “Being a woman is no longer a preexisting condition”  isa stupid slogan but I’m sure liberal women are cheering it on and it’s much harder to make the counter to that in 160 words. I’m trying to wrap my head around the fact that so many people seem to shut off any logical thinking when it comes to politics. I guess it’s easier just go along with whatever your party says, then to actually think about the effects of those policies, and women are the worst offenders.  

    Why these women can’t understand that all of these mandates in a policy including maternity make the costs of the policy sky rocket? Then the same women freak out when they go to the Obamacare website and see how much higher their premiums and deductible costs will be. Can they NOT see the correlation? ……………My head hurts 

    The cost needs to be hit home in the campaign over and over again. Women do care about money—when they’re not being guilted, bullied, and terrorized into only thinking about “women’s issues.”

    • #15
  16. Profile Photo Member
    @6foot2inhighheels

    D.C., thank you for articulating this so well, and congrats for getting to talk to Rush!  If only the GOP weren’t like a bunch of befuddled old men, they’d listen to this analysis and act on it. 

    • #16
  17. Profile Photo Inactive
    @CrowsNest
    D.C. McAllister

    Politically—counter campaigns. Grass roots, activism, propaganda, negative ads against idiots on the left, positive ads promoting the compassionate people on the right. Not backing down. Finding a way to answer everything they say and do.  Social media. Compassionate but solid candidates who don’t say stupid things about women. · 0 minutes ago

    Long term, short term scissors approach (as in most of these battles) granted.

    Let’s turn to the second paragraph on the short term. Yes, in general terms these are all the components that any successful campaign has. But I’m not asking if we should have grassroots or not–we obviously should.

    The question is: what, concretely, should the message be?

    Here’s a concrete suggestion: young ladies, you may be paying exactly the same price as some of your male colleagues, but ALL of your premiums are going to double under Obamacare.

    Fair enough that our candidates shouldn’t say stupid things about women: but, so, let’s ask the obvious follow-on–“what’s a stupid thing to say?” The brain power that needs to be invested is in how to frame the issues, and how to speak about them.

    • #17
  18. Profile Photo Inactive
    @CrowsNest
    Matede

    (1)Why can’t we point out that many of the liberals precious Planned Parenthood clincs have subpar sanitary conditions.

    (2) Also here’s a war on women by the Democrats. They voted against the sex selection abortion ban and you got it, the gender most at risk is Female.

    Republicans have the arguments but are too afraid to use them.

    Here we go. Two more concrete suggestions.

    • #18
  19. Profile Photo Inactive
    @DCMcAllister
    Crow’s Nest

    Matede

    D.C. McAllister: If anyone heard, I was on Rush yesterday talking briefly about this. Bo Snerdley was great to talk to about the war on women. He gets it! :) · 16 minutes ago

    Oh WOW you got through, I’m going to listen to the podcast this afternoon. Can’t wait to hear it · 0 minutes ago

    Fantastic. Let’s see if we can’t get ahold of the clip and repost it. · 3 minutes ago

    It was really short but here’s the transcript and audio. (I think nonmembers can access it, sorry if the links don’t work.)

    • #19
  20. Profile Photo Contributor
    @tommeyer

    Fantastic post, D.C.  This is a successful Democratic strategy and we’re going to have to work very hard to fight back at it.

    I think the solution is to call their bluff by implementing conservative policies that empower women.  Bobby Jindal did just that when he called for repealing the (totally unnecessary) requirement that basic hormonal birth control only be available with a prescription.

    We have to fight hard and we have to fight smart.

    • #20
  21. Profile Photo Inactive
    @DCMcAllister

    Rush is talking about this issue now (not my post, but the issue). How unmarried women delivered Cuccinelli a loss.

    • #21
  22. Profile Photo Inactive
    @billy

    The War on Women strategy is not an appeal to all women voters; it is targeting single women, especially single moms. It is especially devious, and effective, because it plays on their fears of having to raise and provide for a child on their own.

    • #22
  23. Profile Photo Member
    @

    The republicans are seen as Elizabeth Warren said – going to cut access to birth control. So not payment but no birth control allowed.Rick Santorum gave the media the ability to project that view.Ricochet also makes me wonder at times. While we are talking Ricochet and women, I have mentioned it a few times that the suggestion on how to write a great post says to show your post to your wife. Those little points are big. Says a lot about the mindset about who will be a member of ricochet. Inclusiveness is critical. It is a new world out there. Birth control is here to stay. As another point, birth control is not paid for by the Canadian health care system. GOP needs to line up their Facebook talking points.

    • #23
  24. Profile Photo Inactive
    @MateDe
    BrentB67: Matede, the shadow of Akin from Missouri is long and dark.

    Yes, But what Akin said was just plain dumb. He obviously never actually thought about what he would say if asked that question. Candidates need to have answers to the tough abortion questions ready and practiced to the point that it is instinctive. Its not hard to get them, there is so much information about the horrors of the abortion industry, just pluck out a couple then practice in front of a mirror.

    Or better yet, go on offense and bring it up themselves with some examples I’ve provided earlier. Beat them at their own game.

    • #24
  25. Profile Photo Inactive
    @KCMulville

    If polling has told us anything, it’s that the “war on women” message doesn’t work on all women … but it works overwhelmingly on unmarried women.

    It strikes me odd that unmarried women (who have no intention of using maternity services, and who strongly favor abortion to protect against needing maternity services) would use “maternity services” as a measurement of equal respect.

    Besides, you’d think that the women who are most likely to need maternity care (married women) would be most in favor of it … and yet, married women are significantly against it.

    I could understand if we were talking about birth control only, but only a staggering idiot would tolerate vast and massive jumps in healthcare coverage prices just because the policy includes coverage for pills they could get for almost nothing anyway.

    Unless … unless … the Democrats are deliberately playing to the fears of unmarried women, and portraying their disastrous policies as a sign of “equal respect.” Which means they’re gambling on a female inferiority complex to push unmarried women into a false fight for their own equality.

    Which means unmarried women have to be as stupid as the Democrats are gambling they are.

    • #25
  26. Profile Photo Inactive
    @ManfredArcane

    Don’t get your post.  Are you advocating that birth control should be accepted by Ricochetti’s as suitably covered by health insurance, meaning legitimately subsidized by men?

    Indaba: The republicans are seen as Elizabeth Warren said – going to cut access to birth control. So not payment but no birth control allowed.Rick Santorum gave the media the ability to project that view.Ricochet also makes me wonder at times. While we are talking Ricochet and women, I have mentioned it a few times that the suggestion on how to write a great post says to show your post to your wife. Those little points are big. Says a lot about the mindset about who will be a member of ricochet. Inclusiveness is critical. It is a new world out there. Birth control is here to stay. As another point, birth control is not paid for by the Canadian health care system. GOP needs to line up their Facebook talking points. · 2 minutes ago

    • #26
  27. Profile Photo Inactive
    @ManfredArcane

    Bravo!

    KC Mulville: If polling has told us anything, it’s that the “war on women” message doesn’t work onall women … but it worksoverwhelminglyon unmarried women.

    It strikes me odd that unmarried women (who have no intention of using maternity services, and who strongly favor abortion to protect against needing maternity services) would use “maternity services” as a measurement of equal respect.

    Besides, you’d think that the women who are most likely to need maternity care (married women) would be most in favor of it … and yet, married women are significantly against it.

    I could understand if we were talking about birth control only, but only a staggering idiot would tolerate vast and massive jumps in healthcare coverage prices just because the policy includes coverage for pills they could get for almost nothing anyway.

    Unless … unless … the Democrats are deliberately playing to the fears of unmarried women, and portraying their disastrous policies as a sign of “equal respect.” Which means they’re gambling on a female inferiority complex to push unmarried women into a false fight for their own_equality.

    Which means unmarried women have to be as stupid as the Democrats are gambling they are. 

    • #27
  28. Profile Photo Inactive
    @DCMcAllister
    KC Mulville: If polling has told us anything, it’s that the “war on women” message doesn’t work onall women … but it worksoverwhelminglyon unmarried women.

    It strikes me odd that unmarried women (who have no intention of using maternity services, and who strongly favor abortion to protect against needing maternity services) would use “maternity services” as a measurement of equal respect.

    A scary thought is marriage is in decline. Unmarried women are increasing (not marrying, divorced, etc). Married women are decreasing. Our voting bloc is shrinking. Theirs is growing.

    • #28
  29. Profile Photo Inactive
    @DCMcAllister
    KC Mulville:Unless … unless … the Democrats are deliberately playing to the fears of unmarried women, and portraying their disastrous policies as a sign of “equal respect.” Which means they’re gambling on a female inferiority complex to push unmarried women into a false fight for their own equality.

    Which means unmarried women have to be as stupid as the Democrats are gambling they are. 

    Bingo. Sorry if that offends people—as if I’m being too critical of my own sex, but the facts speak.

    • #29
  30. Profile Photo Contributor
    @tommeyer
    KC Mulville: 

    I could understand if we were talking about birth control only, but only a staggering idiot would tolerate vast and massive jumps in healthcare coverage prices just because the policy includes coverage for pills they could get for almost nothing anyway.

    That’s a really good point.  I could totally see a commercial in which Attractive Jane Doe says that not paying $25/month for birth control sounded nice until she realized that ObamaCare caused her premium to go up thousands per year.  

    “ObamaCare doesn’t do what the president said it would do,” she could sniffle.  “I want my old plan back.”

    • #30

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