{{show_title_date || "First Read and the Gaggle: Health Care and Eliot Spitzer takes to the trail, 7/8/13, 10:52 AM ET"}}

Healthcare implementation battle continues


With healthcare exchanges scheduled to open October 1, a new public relations push is underway from both supporters and detractors of the legislation.

The Center for American Progress’ Aisha Moodie Mills, Executive Director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principle Alfonso Aguilar, and BuzzFeed’s John Stanton joined The Daily Rundown for Monday’s Gaggle to discuss the renewed focus on healthcare reform and its implementation.

Conservative group Americans for Prosperity is launching a $1 million ad campaign questioning the benefits of the healthcare reform law aimed at women. Meanwhile, the White House plans to announce the hiring of a new public relations strategist for healthcare.

Aguilar said he believes that the continuing struggles facing reform are because of the flawed law, not because of politics.

“I don’t think it’s Republicans; I think it’s the law itself. Most Americans don’t like it. And I think they’re going to need more than a PR strategist to fix this. The law is too complex and too big,” Aguilar said.

But Moodie Mills acknowledged that the partisanship poses difficulties for healthcare reform, particularly in its implementation.

“It’s really a challenge about implementation and getting people on board with it,” she added. “At the end of the day, Americans may not trust the government, but they certainly don’t trust big insurance companies.”

Stanton acknowledged that one hiccup with the law is that it may increase costs for healthy people while saving money for those who need more medical services.

“That problem—no one has been able to figure out a way around that. And these ads are like having a new guy coming in and putting a new coat of paint on the thing. Healthy people are still going to say ‘eh’ and that’s going to be difficult,” Stanton said.

The Gaggle also discussed former Governor Elliot Spitzer’s recent announcement that he will run for New York State Comptroller.

With the pattern of scandal ridden politicians returning to politics continuing, Aguilar said he believes it’s because, fall from grace or not, that politics is in their nature.

“I don’t think they’re doing it to redeem themselves. I think they are who they are. I think they’re political animals,” said Aguilar.

Moodie Mills said that this episode reveals something deeper about our country’s morality.

“The bigger conversation here is, ‘Where is our moral compass as a society where we vindicate men who essentially cheat on their wives and sleep with prostitutes?’…and we shrug at it,” Moodie Mills said.

Healthcare implementation battle continues