The brand planner in me looks at the brand “healthcare reform” and sees everything out of control. No wonder we can’t break through the stasis. The Dems have not managed the discussion, argument or conversation well. They have allowed the GOP to obscure the focus on the good: covering more people, more efficiently, with a systematized, measured approach to healthcare improvement.
Smartly, the Republicans have framed the argument in simple terms: healthcare reform = higher taxes and higher debt. In a time of financial distress, this is an effective strategy. They’ve moved away from “the gov’t shouldn’t be making decisions for doctors” rally, but that was a good ploy. It, with a variety of other shots, added confusion to which the Dems felt a need to respond. President Obama and the Democrats are acting like hockey goalies – fending off shots rather than managing the “healthcare reform” brand.
Most every voter would agree healthcare is fouled up. Been to an emergency room lately? Had to call an insurance company to resolve a bill? Noticed all the paper jockeys in the doctor’s office? Know someone paying COBRA? Had to answer 4 page questionnaires at a doc’s office every time you go? (Can you say computer?) Malpractice insurance? Let’s not even go there.
The reality is the Democrats need to manage the healthcare reform brand like a package of cookies. Focus on the positive and put power and focus behind the message. Healthcare reform is about making Americans healthier. It’s easy to demonstrate, discuss, and prove. It just needs to be organized around an idea. Stop playing politics. Stop defending. Start managing the positive (that’s branding.)