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Insurance industry’s report on health care reform backfires October 31, 2009

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With the rise of the modern tea party movement and fiery town hall debates that proved embarrassing for Democrats, the public option in the health care reform debate seemed increasingly unlikely to ever be debated by members of Congress. However, as Dan Balz of The Washington Post recently argued, the public option has made a return recently after a controversial report was released by the insurance industry in mid-October. The industry’s study claimed that plans for a public option would increase insurance premiums for the typical family by thousands of dollars. However, Democrats panned the study as significantly flawed, a hatchet job, and an effort to hijack the public debate on the healthcare crisis.

For more on this recent story, see the following videos:

Discussion Questions:

1.  Why was the insurance industry’s report on the problems with the public option received so poorly by the public.  In other words, why was the industry’s major PR move so ineffective?

2.  How should the insurance industry, which is now being demonized because of the unpopular report, respond to attacks against its image?

3.  What does the failure of the industry’s report say about the importance of timing in public relations?

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