The anti-reform camp is constituted mostly by political interest groups. This is mainly because the political groups are funded by the insurance, pharmaceutical and other for profit sectors of the healthcare industry. The antireform camp mainly uses the fear or scare tactic. This is a situation where the political class instills fear onto the citizens. This they do by relating the so called healthcare reforms to Americas’ biggest enemies. They show the intended health care reforms as likely to have drastic negative effects on the citizens which includes putting their own security as a country in danger. They say for example that the health care reforms would lead to rationing for the senior citizens meaning some of them would even lose their doctors.
The fear tactic can be a very successful tactic if used effectively. Human beings are by nature very cautious when it comes to issues relating to their security. This means that they will do anything to ensure that their comfort and feeling of security is safeguarded and not threatened by anything. Fear is actually needed for survival and using it against the citizens would make the anti-reforms agenda easily successful. Fear is also a successful tactic because it is contagious. Information which concerns the security or the people or citizens spreads faster. It would immediately raise concerns and then a state of insecurity would engulf the population.
Fear is biological and ones fear is aroused in the brain it is likely to take over control and dominate the actions of the individual in fear. Anything that that has the list chance of having a harmful effect in an individual has to be taken care of. Taking care of the threatening situation becomes a priority and dictates any subsequent action by the victim of fear. The population thus becomes careful and wary of what is going on.
The expected results from using this kind of tactics is the failure of the health reform proposals. Historically the political interest groups have successfully used the fear factor to stall and bring down any proposed reforms to the health industry. In 1915 the ant reforms political class used the fear factor to stop proposed reforms by saying that the reforms were a plot by the German chancellor to take over the United States.
The fear tactic was also used in the 1940s when Henry Truman tried to push national health insurance. In this case the health reformers were connected to the Soviet Union which again was a country not very much liked by the citizens of the united states. Similarly during the Clinton administration, fear was used to kill proposed reforms in the health industry. The fear used in that case was the fear of rationing which is the same that is being used in the current anti-reform campaigns. Now it is said that the reforms will end up rationing health services in the country. The senior citizens may no longer be entitled to doctors and it will be the doctors who determine whether the patients are worth the cause.
As a result of the fear factor used against them, it was predictable that the senior citizens would react in a certain way. The opponents to the reforms are using them to create a situation of fear within the country so as to impede the suggested reforms. The seniors have come out to resist the fact that they are being used to impede the development. Through AARP, the senior citizens have opted to start a nationwide campaign. In the nationwide information campaign they have planned to open up to the citizens and tell them exactly what is going on in the health reforms industry. They want to stretch the truth and ensure it is available to the people. The senior citizens want to dilute the effect that the scare tactics of the reform opponents would have on the citizens.
The senior citizens have opted to pull in a different direction from the anti-reform teams. They intend to support the proposed reforms to the health industry. Even though the support they had for the changes has reduced slightly due to effect of the scare tactic, the senior citizens AARP intend to gather momentum and fully push through with the health reforms. They want to provide adequate education to the public.
In the current state of affairs, it is more likely that the anti-reforms may be successful with their scare tactics. This is mainly because it is much easier to scare a people and make them believe that they are endangered than to educate them and make them understand the truth. Educating the whole American population on the health industry and the importance of the proposed reforms would require a lot of time and commitment from everyone involved. It would also require a lot of resources. Therefore, it will not be easy for the senior citizens through AARP to be able to reach all the citizens with the information they have about the truth about the health industry reforms. They can, however, succeed with their intention of spreading the truth after sometime.
Gilens , M., & Page, B. (2014). Testing Theories o f American Politics: Elites,Interest Groups and Average Citizens. Journal of Perspectives of Politics, 2-42.
Wootton, G. (2011). Interest Groups: Policy and Politics in America. New York: Prentice-Hall.