The fight to save the Affordable Care Act has migrated to a new battleground: Facebook.
Since early September, a viral Facebook status has been uttering the rounds, claiming that the Trump administration is attempting to sabotage the law by making enrolling in a health plan on Healthcare.gov embarrassing and difficult.
The wording varies from post to post, but the content is primarily the same. It counsels users to “copy and paste” and to utilize a linguistic maneuver meant to boost the post’s renown on the social network 😛 TAGEND
CONGRATULATIONS ! The White House is trying to stop you from enrolling in Obamacare. Fortunately, your best friend( like me) are posting this and using the word ” CONGRATULATIONS ” so that Facebook’s algorithm pictures this to more people. Enrollment for 2018 Affordable Care Act( ACA/ Obamacare) starts November 1 and ends December 15. Snopes had confirmed that the enrollment point was decreased and GOP has cut by 90% the funding to advertise these deadlines. Administration is also taking the website down for “maintenance” for 12 hrs at a time on weekends for most of the enrollment interval when working people might most likely need to use it – doing what they can to destruction ACA.( Please leave a comment saying, ” Congratulations ! ” to influence FB’s algorithm to enhance its visibility of this affixing .) THEN, PLEASE COPY AND PASTE ON YOUR OWN TIMELINE . i > blockquote>
“[ It] sucks when I’m told I don’t deserve inexpensive health care and when it’s suggested it’s my fault I have a pacemaker or desire grief meds, ” says Jackie Todd, a filmmaker who announced the status to her sheet in September. She speculates her chronic nature position would conclude her uninsurable, should the Affordable Care Act be repealed.
The “congratulations! ” Facebook status offers users the twin satisfactions of doing one’s civic office and spoofing Facebook’s strange “algorithm.” And the allegations of destruction jibe with recent reports that claim the Trump administration is rolling back its support for the existing legislation.
At the same time, it’s hard not to be skeptical of a random upright that appears in your feed.
Should you believe it? Should you share it?
That depends on a few acts. And I looked into those things.
Is the information about the ACA in the berth accurate? Broadly, yes. Let’s break it down:
“Enrollment for 2018 Affordable Care Act( ACA/ Obamacare) starts November 1 and intention December 15. ”
True, according to Healthcare.gov. That’s six weeks shorter than the 2016 open enrollment stage, which guided from Nov. 1 to Jan. 31.
“Snopes had confirmed that the enrollment point was diminished and GOP has chipped by 90% the funding to advertise these deadlines.”
Too true-blue, with a caveat. On Aug. 31, the Center for Medicare& Medicaid Service announced it would allocate $ 10 million for its ACA promotional fund, down from $100 million in 2016. The agency claimed that despite doubling advertising fund from 2015 to 2016, “first-time enrollment[ lessened] by 42 percentage, ” justifying the deep slasheds.
As for the caveat? Snopes did verify the information — though the assertion that the “GOP” is responsible is not exactly right, as the adjustment was made by the Trump administration , not any particular political party.
“Administration is also taking the website down for ‘maintenance’ for 12 hrs at a time on weekends for most of the enrollment span when working people might most probably need to use it.”
Again, true. In late September, the Department of Health and Human Service announced it would be taking Healthcare.gov offline on five Sundays during the open enrollment stage, from 12 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Is the “congratulations” tactic an efficient style to “hack” Facebook’s mysterious algorithm?
Unfortunately, maybe not. At least no more so than plainly affixing the information to Facebook without the “congratulations” attached.
The claim that including “congratulations” in a status improves a post’s grading on Facebook comes from from a 2014 Wired article, which reported that Mark Zuckerberg proposed the idea himself, after showing that a post about a colleague’s birthday appeared higher on his own feed than a pole about the birth of his own niece.
That’s not the case today. A Facebook spokesperson said that including highlighted names like “congratulations”( which trigger entertaining special effects when sounded) do nothing to improve a post’s grading on the report feed. He have also pointed out that announces that peculiarity the word do “tend to get more engagement from people on the programme, ” which does increase their reach.
So should you post it yourself?
“Anything and everything is helpful in spreading the word, ” says Lori Lodes, co-founder of Get America Covered. A former chairman of communications at Centers for Medicare& Medicaid Assistance, Lodes was responsible for outreach acts during Healthcare.gov’s second and third open enrollment dates. Get America Covered was founded to fill the gaps left by the administration’s cuts, in part by putting together riches to help individuals promote those in their social networks to enroll.
In the meantime, Lodes substantiates chiming the alarm on Facebook.
“The most important thing people can do right now is to get the word out — whether that is talking to acquaintances, sharing on social media or hanging up signalings in their places, ” she says.
The next few months will help determine whether the Affordable Care Act thrives or simply survives.
Can anyone certainly facilitate supersede the well-funded, coordinated action of a large federal bureaucracy?
That part remains to be seen. But it’s up to you, regardless.
Please copy and share?