How To Talk to Your Progressive Niece about Obamacare This Thanksgiving

 

As your family gathers around the table this Thanksgiving, the conversation may get a little heated if a left-wing relative brings up President Obama’s signature health law. The Affordable Care Act remains both unpopular and misunderstood among the American public — a combination that makes it likely fodder for holiday conflicts.

In fact, the website ThinkProgress posted an article titled “How To Talk To Your Tea Party Uncle About Obamacare This Thanksgiving.” So, if your niece blogs for ThinkProgress and starts making wild assertions about the Affordable Care Act, here are some key points that will help keep your conversation on track:

Claim: Obamacare is not causing premiums to skyrocket.

You are excited to see your sister and brother-in-law for the first time in three years. As you welcome them into your home for an overdue celebration, their twenty-something daughter walks by your hug. “We need to talk about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” she says, pulling an iPad from her Netroots Nation tote bag. Her parents offer a resigned look and mention that she just got her Master’s in Gender Sustainability.

“Fantastic work,” you say, “I always knew you’d do it! You must have got your smarts from…”

“Does your TV have wi-fi?” she interrupts. “The pie charts really pop on a big screen. According to a recent Center for American Progress analysis, the premium rates for individual market in states with federally-run marketplaces will increase by an average of less than four…”

Before she continues, offer her a glass of wine and ask about her favorite classes. This provides a polite excuse to step out out of the living room while allowing your other guests to keep watching football.

Claim: Jonathan Gruber did not expose the “real truth” about the law.

To everyone’s relief, your niece’s iPad battery is too drained to show her presentation. (She spent the drive over watching a live-streamed #OccupyCapitalism protest at a Puyallup Walmart.) While your spouse plies her with appetizers, you hide all the Apple charger cords from view. But before long, the earnest progressive buttonholes septuagenarian Aunt Judy in an angry screed about “Faux News’ biased coverage of GruberGate.”

“The debate over Obamacare thoroughly addressed the aspects of the policy that the MIT economist claims lawmakers were hiding,” she shouts into Judy’s bad ear. “The Congressional Budget Office did score the individual mandate as a mechanism to increase revenue, and President Obama was open about…”

At this point, interrupt with family photos. “Did you know we still have pictures of you as a kid? Let’s go to the other room — I bet we can find that photo of Aunt Judy nursing you back to health when you had chicken pox.” As you leave, Aunt Judy turns her hearing aid back on so she can enjoy the third quarter.

Claim: Obamacare has successfully lowered the uninsured rate.

Good news! You’ve successfully refocused your niece and the other guests on funny stories, family memories and plans for 2015. But as everyone sits down to the Thanksgiving feast, Grandpa complains about the troubles he’s had scheduling that hip surgery.

Your ThinkProgress niece seizes the opportunity. “Just imagine how bad it would be if you were poor, a person of color, or a woman!” she says. “Did you know that many oppressed communities with preexisting conditions were able to attain coverage for the first time when ACA marketplaces opened? According to data compiled by Commonwealth Fund…”

Now is the time to gently remind her that before she shares research about Medicaid expansion’s effect on the low-income transgendered, the family needs to say grace and load up their plates. If she still doesn’t get the hint, encourage every guest, one by one, to say what they are most thankful for this year.

Claim: Businesses are not cutting back on workers’ hours or coverage because of Obamacare.

Wisely, you made sure your progressive niece is one of the last to share her Thanksgiving story. Everyone talking about close calls avoided, unexpected little miracles and new job opportunities will surely help her focus on the deeper meanings of family and the holidays. Not so fast.

“The fact that Ben and Jennie got new jobs proves that Obamacare is not creating a ‘part-time economy’ like teatard wingnuts keep claiming!” Your brother-in-law tries to stop her as she hands out white papers from the Urban Institute and the Robert Johnson Wood Foundation.

Since none of your gentle rebukes have worked, it’s time to level with your ThinkProgress blogger niece. “Honey, everyone at this table loves you very much. But today isn’t about arguing. Thanksgiving is about counting our blessings and sharing just one day with family from around the country. All of us have different views on politics, religion, football and everything else. But today is about setting all that aside and remembering what we have in common: Family. Now, who wants seconds?”

There are 47 comments.

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  1. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    I’m not even on Obamacare, and our healthcare costs have more than doubled.  Out of pocket even more than that.  My wife keeps asking “why are we getting all these bills?!  We’ve been to the doctor less than we were last year!”

    I say:  “who embraced Obamacare more than any other state in the union?  Yes.  Ours.  Washington.  See all of those billboards around town telling us all how great the exchanges are?  That’s half the price increase right there.”

    The idea that these costs aren’t passed on to all of us is insane beyond belief.  I am fortunate enough to have a family that exists almost wholly in sanity.  Not a liberal family member in sight who would ever be stopping by for thanksgiving or Christmas (one liberal cousin in NYC, but I haven’t seen him in 7 years).  But I almost wish someone would stop by and start talking to me about ThinkProgress’s recommendations…

    the problem?  Think progress actually listened to Gruber.  Their recommendations rely upon the stupidity of the American voter.  And who could be stupider than teabaggers, right?  right?

    • #1
  2. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    Jon, That is a very level-headed, loving, caring, and reasonable approach to take with your niece.  In the alternative, you could say, “You’re making a fool of yourself.  Drop it.”

    • #2
  3. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Very good.  A big problem is that for the left, there is no life other than politics.  “Everything is political,” they used to tell us.  If she isn’t doing politics, your niece will shrivel up to nothingness.  So it’s good that you’re trying to save her by introducing her (or re-introducing her) to life outside of politics.

    Unfortunately, in the long run the people who do politics 24×7 will overrun and supplant those who have other lives, but that’s not a good reason to join them.

    • #3
  4. Ichabod Inactive
    Ichabod
    @Ichabod

    The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess? – Joshua the Computer,  War Games.

    • #4
  5. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    “It’s my day off.  If you want to discuss politics, please make an appointment with my office.”

    • #5
  6. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Also, why is the man in that photo carving a chicken with a dinner knife?

    • #6
  7. user_158368 Inactive
    user_158368
    @PaulErickson

    Misthiocracy:Also, why is the man in that photo carving a chicken with a dinner knife?

    Very observant!  Also, he won’t get much meat carving where he’s aiming.  Unless it’s a progressive family and that’s a tofurkey?

    • #7
  8. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Misthiocracy:Also, why is the man in that photo carving a chicken with a dinner knife?

    Chicken and French fries for dinner? It must be Thanksgiving in Canada. ;-)

    • #8
  9. user_158368 Inactive
    user_158368
    @PaulErickson

    And does anybody really carve the bird at the dinner table?  It is a job that I truly hate and tests the depth of my thankfulness.  I invariably utter strings of colorful non-CoC words and phrases and make an awful mess of it.  Best kept out in the kitchen!

    • #9
  10. danys Thatcher
    danys
    @danys

    Agree with The Reticulator that the problem is the “everything is politics” mentality. Such a tedious and joyless approach to life. The poor niece really needs to learn about happiness.

    • #10
  11. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Western Chauvinist:

    Misthiocracy:Also, why is the man in that photo carving a chicken with a dinner knife?

    Chicken and French fries for dinner? It must be Thanksgiving in Canada. ;-)

    I woulda LOVED to have Swiss Chalet for Thanksgiving!

    Alas, Mom made ham…

    • #11
  12. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Paul Erickson:And does anybody really carve the bird at the dinner table? It is a job that I truly hate and tests the depth of my thankfulness. I invariably utter strings of colorful non-CoC words and phrases and make an awful mess of it. Best kept out in the kitchen!

    Also, do many families fill up every plate with sides before even starting to carve the turkey?

    In my family, there’d be a riot if we were expected to sit patiently watching our potatoes, veggies, and gravy go cold while dad failed to provide any decent meat.

    • #12
  13. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    Misthiocracy:Also, why is the man in that photo carving a chicken with a dinner knife?

    I believe those are french fries on the plate, which is deeply troubling if this is supposed to be Thanksgiving dinner.

    • #13
  14. Mark Thatcher
    Mark
    @GumbyMark

    I don’t think my niece will be using the talking points.  Her parents lost the coverage they liked because of Obamacare and got called “stupid” in the bargain by the Administration.  Turns out that although their coverage met every one of the standards for Obamacare (pre-existing conditions, no caps etc) there was an obscure  provision in the legislation that said if you had a small business (even with no employees) and only family members were on a business health insurance plan it was now illegal and you were forced onto the exchanges.  Guess Pelosi was right about our needing to pass the bill to find out what was in it. But not to worry, they got a plan with deductibles 3X higher than with their prior plan and this year, after Obama postponed making information available on new plans from Oct 1 to Nov 15 so as not to become an election problem, it turns out they face a 20% premium increase.

    • #14
  15. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Mark:I don’t think my niece will be using the talking points. Her parents lost the coverage they liked because of Obamacare and got called “stupid” in the bargain by the Administration. Turns out that although their coverage met every one of the standards for Obamacare (pre-existing conditions, no caps etc) there was an obscure provision in the legislation that said if you had a small business (even with no employees) and only family members were on a business health insurance plan it was now illegal and you were forced onto the exchanges. Guess Pelosi was right about our needing to pass the bill to find out what was in it. But not to worry, they got a plan with deductibles 3X higher than with their prior plan and this year, after Obama postponed making information available on new plans from Oct 1 to Nov 15 so as not to become an election problem, it turns out they face a 20% premium increase.

    I’m “Liking” this in the ironic sense.

    • #15
  16. carlboraca@gmail.com Inactive
    carlboraca@gmail.com
    @PleatedPantsForever

    Jon – I plan to read your post as they are always excellent.  However, two things in the picture that I cannot get over.

    1. Why are the kids drinking red wine?
    2. Why is dad carving a chicken on Thanksgiving?

    Sorry, we would not be Ricochet if we did not nit pick.

    • #16
  17. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    Paul Erickson:

    Misthiocracy:Also, why is the man in that photo carving a chicken with a dinner knife?

    Very observant! Also, he won’t get much meat carving where he’s aiming. Unless it’s a progressive family and that’s a tofurkey?

    it looks like a cornish game hen…  who eats a bird that small for Thanksgiving?

    • #17
  18. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    Western Chauvinist:

    Misthiocracy:Also, why is the man in that photo carving a chicken with a dinner knife?

    Chicken and French fries for dinner? It must be Thanksgiving in Canada. ;-)

    It’s amazing how much you people pick up on!  haha.  I didn’t notice any of that stuff, except that the bird clearly wasn’t a turkey.

    • #18
  19. carlboraca@gmail.com Inactive
    carlboraca@gmail.com
    @PleatedPantsForever

    Misthiocracy:Also, why is the man in that photo carving a chicken with a dinner knife?

    You beat me to it!  I’m sticking with my wine comment.

    • #19
  20. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Pleated Pants Forever:

    1. Why are the kids drinking red wine?

    That’s wine? It looks like Kool-Aid to me.

    • #20
  21. carlboraca@gmail.com Inactive
    carlboraca@gmail.com
    @PleatedPantsForever

    Misthiocracy:

    Pleated Pants Forever:

    1. Why are the kids drinking red wine?

    That’s wine? It looks like Kool-Aid to me.

    Sir, we do not have it as good as Canada and must make due down here.  A little wine, a little water, a little sugar.  As long as it makes the pain go away.

    • #21
  22. Kim K. Inactive
    Kim K.
    @KimK

    The turkey is down-sized because they’re sitting at a tiny table. Dad looks like he’s about to jab li’l sis in the ribs while carving.

    • #22
  23. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Kim K.:The turkey is down-sized because they’re sitting at a tiny table. Dad looks like he’s about to jab li’l sis in the ribs while carving.

    Maybe it’s a normal-sized bird and they are actually giants!!!

    • #23
  24. user_82762 Inactive
    user_82762
    @JamesGawron

    Jon,

    I understand your desire for a joyous, peaceful Thanksgiving Holiday with friends and family. However, these are difficult times in which we live. Sometimes extreme measures are required.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #24
  25. user_22932 Member
    user_22932
    @PaulDeRocco

    At the first mention of Obamacare, I’d reach for the nearest Bunkerism and say “Stifle yaself”.

    • #25
  26. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Admin
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.
    @jon

    Pleated Pants Forever: Jon – I plan to read your post as they are always excellent. However, two things in the picture that I cannot get over. Why are the kids drinking red wine? Why is dad carving a chicken on Thanksgiving? Sorry, we would not be Ricochet if we did not nit pick.

    Because the other stock photos of Thanksgiving were even worse. :)

    • #26
  27. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    Misthiocracy:

    Pleated Pants Forever:

    1. Why are the kids drinking red wine?

    That’s wine? It looks like Kool-Aid to me.

    Is there a difference for Canadians?  ;)

    • #27
  28. Mark Thatcher
    Mark
    @GumbyMark

    Ryan M:

    Paul Erickson:

    Misthiocracy:Also, why is the man in that photo carving a chicken with a dinner knife?

    it looks like a cornish game hen… who eats a bird that small for Thanksgiving?

    Obviously none of you have been keeping up with recent regulatory changes.

    1. Per CFR 43.175(b)(ii) OSHA has concluded that sharp carving knives pose an unreasonable risk of injury in the home workplace and they have been banned explaining the dinner knife.

    2.  Per the ACA Cost Control Provisions overeating has been found to be a major contributor to obesity and various medical ailments which increase the cost of healthcare and since the government is now paying directly or indirectly for healthcare it now has the power to impose regulations reducing such costs.  The new Consolidated Rules About Portions (CRAP) were recently promulgated to require restrictions on the size of servings explaining the small size of the bird.

    3.  Unfortunately the family pictured (granted they may not actually be a family and I may be making heteronormative patriarchal assumptions) are eating french fries, a recently banned food and they are about to be raided by the Food Police and sent to a reeducation camp.

    Have a nice Thanksgiving everyone!

    • #28
  29. carlboraca@gmail.com Inactive
    carlboraca@gmail.com
    @PleatedPantsForever

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:

    Pleated Pants Forever: Jon – I plan to read your post as they are always excellent. However, two things in the picture that I cannot get over. Why are the kids drinking red wine? Why is dad carving a chicken on Thanksgiving? Sorry, we would not be Ricochet if we did not nit pick.

    Because the other stock photos of Thanksgiving were even worse. :)

    JG – Got it.  Thank you.

    Also, agree with your post.  I have had much better luck with wine and cheese than arguing with my relatives on the left.

    • #29
  30. Nick Stuart Inactive
    Nick Stuart
    @NickStuart

    Misthiocracy:Also, why is the man in that photo carving a chicken with a dinner knife?

    Hasn’t been allowed to have any sharps since that “accident” last year.

    • #30

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