Via Jonah Goldberg. Believe it or not, these soulless robots have prepared an actual talking-points memo for the occasion replete with tips on how to plan your “talk.” My favorite: “Integrate the talk into family time.” Good advice — and for my money, the more dramatic the integration, the better. When your cousin pulls out baby pictures of her newborn and tries to pass them around, grab her arm gently but firmly and say, “Hey — isn’t there something more important we should be discussing?”
Don’t be fazed by the stunned silence that follows. That’s your opening to grab your iPad and start the Powerpoint on enrollment that you’ve prepared.
I like the idea that you, by dint of having donated to Obama and happily swallowed endless lies about keeping your plan and your provider network, are necessarily the “voice of reason” at the dinner table this year. In the unlikely event that you find yourself seated across from one of these benighted schmucks, you can play it three ways: One: Deflect. Change the subject. Bring up “The Walking Dead” or how boring the NFL is this year or whether maybe Orwell had a point about statism’s insidious power to dehumanize people by reducing them to cogs in a government propaganda machine. Two: Engage. Ace has prepared a helpful talking-points memo of his own in case you find yourself at a loss upon being pitched on O-Care by the same arrogant little sh*t who called you ignorant for doubting that the program would work at Thanksgiving dinners past. (If Ezra Klein has any conservative relatives, he or she is about to have the best Thanksgiving ever.) Three: If there are people at the table considering buying a plan on the exchange, wait patiently until they’re done cursing Obama for having forced their insurer to cancel their old coverage and then prepare them for how to shop on the exchange. For starters, don’t believe the prices quoted on Healthcare.gov:
The troubled federal website allows visitors to anonymously surf the site for exchange plans sold in their areas and provides them with estimated prices for each health plan. (Just click on the “See Plans Now” button on the homepage and follow instructions.) But here’s the problem: The monthly premium estimates provided on the website do not consider a person’s specific age, household size or tobacco use — all critical factors when estimating premiums…
For our family of four, HealthCare.gov offers six Silver plans: four Independence Blue Cross plans and two Aetna plans. (We considered only the Silver plans to keep it simple.) The HealthCare.gov estimates ranged from $708.84 per month to $982 per month.
Now, HealthCare.gov doesn’t ask for ages or even an age range when providing plan information and premium estimates for family coverage. All it wants to know is the visitor’s home state and county.
ValuePenguin.com asks for a little more information. Besides county and state, window shoppers have to provide household size, as well as ages and tobacco use for all family members. That website’s estimates were higher — much higher. A whopping 69 percent higher for each exchange plan. The premium range: $1,201.44 to $1,666 per month. (And, remember, that’s for a family of nonsmokers.)
They might be eligible for a subsidy, but then again they might not. And their subsidy might be illegal depending upon where they buy the plan: If they get it from Healthcare.gov or directly from an insurer, the rug could be pulled out from under them next year. Buying one of the cheaper “bronze” plans on the exchanges will help cut their cost, but they need to be careful and read the fine print. The bronze plans are the ones with the highest deductibles and the smallest provider networks. They might be better off with silver or even gold, if they can afford it. At around this point, someone at the table’s going to pipe up and say, “But why are they so expensive?” That’s when the real fun begins.
Actually, I think that last bit explains why OFA is doing this, as creepy as it seems. They know ObamaCare’s going to come up at a lot of dinner tables this year and they know that most of what’s said won’t be happy. The talking-points memo isn’t meant to be followed to the letter — I hope — it’s just a way of nudging liberals to encourage people to reserve judgment when the subject does come up. In fact, given that young adults are (a) O-Care’s target consumers and (b) the demographic that’s probably most likely to click on a link from OFA, the whole “talking-points memo” is really just a way to encourage the people reading it to sign up themselves. There’s a lot of “young healthies” out there to be gouged before this boat will float.
There … sure is a lot of this stuff floating around on lefty sites right now, though. Exit quotation:
Devoting our whole show on Wednesday to how to talk about politics, news with conservative family members. Should be fun!
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) November 25, 2013
Update: Via Mark and Mollie Hemingway, “The 5 Most Insane Obamacare Talking Points You Can Expect To Hear From Your Crazy Uncle This Week.”
Here’s a sample response you might use. “That would be great. Except that I’m going to be washing dishes and cleaning up for a bit. How about you go into the guest room and use the computer in there to sign me up. As soon as you’re done, you can have some pie.”
The key is to get them to make a commitment not to come out until they’ve finished signing you up. Remember their conversation tip — Ask them to make a plan, and commit to it. Ask them to commit to finishing the sign-up before they come out of the room.
Since nobody can actually sign up for Obamacare, they’ll be busily trying to operate the web site for the duration of your visit.