Brand New Law! The Need to Market Health Care Reform

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The
most serious problem with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care
Act (PPACA) is not its contents but its packaging. Because it
requires significant departures from business as usual in health insurance,
health care delivery, and health behavior,
PPACA is unlikely to succeed unless Americans feel a shared stake in
its success. Unfortunately, the new law has been branded only
by its opponents. Neither the Obama Administration nor its congressional
allies have effectively communicated the law’s key elements to the
public. Most surprisingly, the groundbreaking program of near-universal
health coverage that PPACA creates does not have a name. This
Article explores the process of branding major American social legislation
such as PPACA and suggests a strategy for improving public understanding
and building loyalty. Legal brand equity, like its commercial
counterpart, implies a functional, emotional, and expressive relationship
between the law and its intended beneficiaries. Accordingly, an
effective marketing strategy for PPACA entails creating consistent expectations
regarding the law’s goals and performance, and ensuring that those
expectations are met.

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