Using the Freedom Frame for Healthcare

I love this article in Glamour that Virginia Stark sent me. It uses the freedom frame for healthcare.  The freedom frame can be tough to get right because it’s a “contested” frame -both sides use it and each has it’s own understanding of what the term means. It’s rare to see it used so effectively and in so many ways.

This one quote is a quadruple whammy -a freedom frame wrapped in a powerful emotional message using the future projection tool and calling on the listener to do the imagining of what the future would look like (rather than painting the picture for them).

“If you had guaranteed access to decent health care, what would you do differently with your life?”

What a great way to focus attention on the feeling of freedom to just be done with all this healthcare mess and live the life you choose.

I’ll quibble with only one thing mentioned in the article (and many others) “…the question of how it will be paid for remains a big one”.  I see no rational basis for this notion and no reason why anyone on our side would ever say it. It seems we’ve internalized the conservative frame.

First, health insurance paid by employers is earned income and that amount is huge ≈ 24K/yr for a family. That income could just go to employees as wages to cover any higher taxes needed to pay for universal. And second, if universal costs less everywhere it’s been tried, then there’s every reason to believe it should cost less here meaning workers get to keep some of that money. What to do with the savings seems more the question!

That’s a minor quibble with a truly fine article. Author Sarah Seltzer does an exploration of how a well chosen frame can expand to many effective messages that reach different listeners and her focus on how women’s freedom expands with healthcare for all is top notch. Give the article a good read and pass it around. This is framing done well!


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