Health Policy Groups Prepare For Day Of Spin

NCHC Writer
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By Shefali S. Kulkarni
JUNE 27TH, 2012, 8:43 AM

The anticipation over the Supreme Court’s health law ruling has the health policy world busy with activity.

Interest groups, advocates and other stakeholders are not only awaiting for the Court’s decision, they are strategizing and agonizing over the best ways to get their reactions out to the public — just as soon as they figure out what to say.

“I’ve been telling everyone that I don’t have butterflies in my stomach, I feel like I have a pack of elephants in my stomach,” said FamiliesUSAexecutive director Ron Pollack. Pollack’s organization, like many others, has multiple press releases ready to go, depending on how the court rules.

The good news is that it is nearly certain the health care law will be decided by the Supreme Court on Thursday. So while the date appears to have been set, the details of the decision remain up in the air.

Here are some ways health policy groups are preparing for Thursday’s decision:

  • The National Federation of Independent Businesses’ Legal Center has scheduled a media conference call for Thursday at noon. The group, which is one of the plaintiffs in the challenge to the federal health law, will also host a live-chat on Thursday at 1:00 p.m.
  • Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, also a plaintiff, will host a live news conference in Richmond, Va., and teleconference call on Thursday at noon, after he has had an opportunity to study the ruling. The attorney general will also send out an immediate reaction to the ruling at 10:15 A.M. A link to the video press conference will be posted on Cuccinelli’s website.
  • The National Health Council, a patient advocacy group comprised of more than 100 member organizations, created their own website dedicated to the Supreme Court’s decision. The group will be posting statements, documents and other responses from their member organizations on the website on decision-day.
  • The National Council of La Raza, a civil rights and advocacy group for the Latino community, will be hosting a Twitter-chat Friday to broadcast their reactions and to explain what kind of impact they expect the Supreme Court’s actions will have on Latino, LGBT and female Americans.
  • Jessica Arons, the director of the Women’s Health and Rights Program at the Center For American Progress will also host a Twitter-chat Friday.
  • Young Invicibles, the advocacy group that focuses on young adult health care issues, is holding a press call at 12:30 p.m. Thursday. On the same day, the group is going to host a Twitter-Chat (@YI_Care) at 1 p.m., using the hashtag #Young AmerChat.
  • The Employee Benefits Research Institute published a blog post last Friday written by director of health research Paul Fronstin that looks at what employers may do once the Supreme Court makes a decision.
  • Brookings and the American Enterprise Institute have lined up experts to speak about the various outcomes.
  • The National Coalition On Health Care said they will release a statement on Thursday. Their president and CEO John Rother is already scheduled to talk to media on the day of the decision.
  • Avram Goldstein, a spokesman for Health Care For America Now! said that on Thursday, their partnerships around the country will conduct various events from rallies to press conferences. “Each group does its own thing in a different way. Maybe going to a hospital, maybe visiting an Attorney General’s office, maybe visiting a member of Congress.” He said that his organization is going to have a spreadsheet of all the different events happening around the country and will share it with the public on the day of the Supreme Court decision.
  • The CATO Institute initially planned to host a policy forum on June 28th, but pushed their event to July 2nd now that the Supreme Court is going to make a decision on the 28th. The forum, which will address the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision on the health care law, will include Randy Barnett from Georgetown University Law Center, Avik Roy from the Manhattan Institute and Grace-Marie Turner from the Galen Institute.
  • Health Affairs, the peer-reviewed health care journal, is hosting an event on Friday, June 29th at Georgetown University’s Law Center to talk about how the Supreme Court’s decision will affect Americans. Their panel includes: David B. Rivkin, a lawyer who representing the 26 states that challenged the constitutionality of the health care law, M. Gregg Bloche from Georgetown University and author of The Hippocratic Myth: Why Doctors Are Under Pressure to Ration Care, Practice Politics, and Compromise Their Promise to Heal, and Sara Rosenbaum, a professor at George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services who helped draft part of President Clinton’s health care proposal.
  • The NAACP will use social media to convey their message, regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision according to a spokesman. They will utilize Twitter and Facebook and will create a Storify project of reactions and facts from their 880 Campaign website dedicated to health care reform.