Who Should Be Invited to the State of the Union?

By Grace-Marie Turner

President Obama can be expected to invite Affordable Care Act enthusiasts to sit with the first lady, especially young people who have newly purchased health insurance in the exchanges. But this gesture could backfire with the millions of people whose health insurance has been cancelled because of the law and who cannot afford to replace it with expensive policies that meet its extensive rules and benefit mandates.

If I were advising the president, I would recommend he try to calm the growing animosity toward the law by apologizing to those who have lost their coverage and inviting a former critic, especially someone with a chronic medical condition who now is able to get health insurance through the exchange. The disruption the law is creating to our health sector and economy is extensive, but the president could single out a few people representative of those who may even reluctantly have been helped by the law.

Posted on The New York Times: Room for Debate January 26, 2014

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