The Hunt for the Elusive Obamacare Lover

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 18 2014 9:19 AM

The Hunt for the Elusive Obamacare Lover

My latest piece asks a question that some nervous Democrats have been pondering—how come the Republicans get all the heart-tugging testimonial ads about Obamacare? Why are there millions of dollars' worth of TV spots featuring people who blame the ACA for dropping their coverage, and none promoting the law? The simple answer is "not enough money."

Because these people do exist. Yesterday I talked to Matt Grove, a bagel shop owner in Utica, N.Y., who appeared in a short-lived 2011 TV campaign to promote the ACA. He said then, in ads shot by "Know Your Care," that the ACA's tax credits had saved him money and expanded coverage to staff.

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"We're actually even increasing our contribution to health care," he said. "We used to only contribute 50% to premiums. Because we get the tax credit, we pushed that to sort of a weird number, 88%."

But the point of the story is that Know Your Care ran some ads then went defunct in late 2012. Website's still up, but no one's paying to share those stories. Would they rescue the ACA's popularity all by themselves? Well, no, but Democrats wonder why they can't hear any of this above the clamor.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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