Let's Talk Turkey - How to talk about ACA at Thanksgiving

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving dinner is when the people who know the least about politics always want to talk about it the most. Whether it's your crazy Tea Party uncle, that family member opening the 3rd bottle of wine, or Senator Ted Cruz, some people just won't stop filibustering at the table.

Don't worry - we've got you covered. As you prepare for the holidays, we've put together a helpful list of how to talk about the Affordable Care Act at Thanksgiving. Here are a few Fox News fallacies you're likely to hear:

Crazy Uncle says: The website was down! Obamacare is doomed!

You say: Thankfully, the site is already back up and running much better, but remember - the Affordable Care Act is more than just a website. It’s a law that prevents insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, and they can no longer employ a practice of dropping patients once they’ve become sick. It allows young people to stay on their parent’s plan until they are 26 years old. 

Crazy Uncle says: Nobody is signing-up for it!

You say: Over 200,000 people have signed up so far, not including anyone who signed up through the federal exchange in November [1]. While there are still many more to enroll, you can hardly say these numbers constitute “nobody.” Some of the states that have their own websites set up are enrolling people twice as fast as last month [2]. Even Speaker John Boehner signed up without too much trouble! [3] 

Medicare had a slow rollout in the 1960’s and now sees nationwide coverage for senior citizens. Mitt Romney’s plan in Massachusetts saw fewer than 200 enrollees within the first month – and that plan now covers 96% of the state. The bottom line is this: people are enrolling, but it won’t happen overnight.

Crazy Uncle says: Obama said we can keep our plans if we liked them. He lied!

You say: The plans that are cancelled barely count as insurance [4]. The plans that are being canceled don't cover essential benefits, they discriminate based on how healthy you are, they set up a limit on how much your insurance company will pay you for your care per year, and they deny you based on a pre-existing condition.

Thanks to a law written by Senator Wendy Davis and signed by Governor Perry, Texas prohibits insurance companies from selling junk auto insurance policies [5]. The canceled health care plans are junk health insurance policies. No one is complaining about that law.

Crazy Uncle says: Everyone in Texas has access to healthcare!

You say: 25% of our state is uninsured, which means those Texans' only access to health care is the emergency room. Curing an illness is good, but preventive care is far better. Plus, all those ER visits drive up costs to the hospital which, in turn, increases local taxes for all of us. We could be getting federal funding, but instead we're relying on local tax dollars to pay for ER visits [6].

Crazy Uncle says: Fox News and Greg Abbott warned me about those “navigators” stealing my information!

You say: That's a lot of conspiracy talk ginned up by people who just hate the law. Abbott actually exposed the Social Security numbers of 13 million Texans [7]. He's mostly just trying to distract everyone from how terrible a governor he would be.

We hope this helps. If you'd like to read more content like this, check out this piece at the Huffington Post. Feel free to shoot us an e-mail at info@progresstexas.org if you have any other questions you'd like help with, or to share how your Thanksgiving politics conversation went.

Good luck!


[1] TIME
[2] LA Times
[3] Huffington Post
[4] Texas Tribune
[5] Dallas Morning News
[6] The Atlantic
[7] NBC Dallas/Fort Worth