Rhetorical Analysis

New Effort to Kill Obamacare is Called ‘the Most Radical’

Senate Republican leaders have proposed a bill that will repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, which helps millions of people. In a New York Times article, “New effort to Kill Obamacare is Called ‘the Most Radical,’” published on September 21, 2017, Kate Zernike, Reed Abelson, and Abby Goodnough explain the proposed bill and its potential effects. By using strong language and facts, Zernike et al. support their argument that the bill is in fact, the ‘most radical,’ repeal proposal, as stated. Zernike et al. use of logos and pathos strengthens their argument, while also informing the reader on what this new bill could mean to Americans and the healthcare system.

Photo from CNS News


Zernike et al. begin the article by engaging the reader with a statement explaining Republicans plans to change the way the federal government spends on healthcare. They make it known that in the proposal, the states will be given the money in a form of block-grants to be used on healthcare in their own ways.

Zernike et al. go on to explain some of the major negatives with this proposed bill: dismantling Medicaid expansion and subsidies, waiving Affordable Care Act protections, and removing the country’s guaranteed healthcare safety net. Zernike et al. specify what these changes will be like for certain states by adding different perspectives, but in the end explaining it as a loss. Detrimental effects and potential arising issues are illustrated, as Zernik et al. explain the proposed bill. They conclude by raising awareness of the short time states will have to plan how they will deal with the block-grants towards healthcare with this bill.


Zernike et al. appeal to logos by using facts and statistics in their argument. This gives the reader a better understanding of what these issues can mean on a number scale. For example, the authors add data from the health data firm Avalere which states, “California, which has expanded coverage to an additional 3.7 million under A.CA. would get $78 billion less through 2026 than under current law, and New York would see $45 billion less, Avalere found.” By adding such data, the reader is persuaded because it gives an estimate of negative effects overtime. The reader is able to understand that a substantial loss of money will be loss.

Additionally, Zernike et al. add facts from people who are knowledgeable about the issues, such as; the Kaiser family foundation, Senators, governors, and a lawyer. Adding these statistics and facts, gives the reader a better understanding of the various effects and perspectives of this proposed bill.

Changes expected if ACA is repealed


From the beginning, an appeal to pathos is used by the authors. Within the title and article, the bill is referred to as “the most radical,” making sure the main point is made. It’s a statement that the article revolves around and it sticks with the reader as a constant reminder. Another example of pathos is when the authors introduce the overall effects from the proposal saying, “And it removes the guaranteed safety net that has insured the country’s poorest citizens for more than half a century.” Zernike et al. evoke emotions by emphasizing how the poorest citizens will be specifically effected in this case. Likewise, they point out how the ending of subsidies that cover costs will hurt “lower-income people,” in the proposed bill. This strong language and use of specific words throughout the article appeal to pathos, as Zernike et al. explain how specific states and people can be negatively affected.

Effective use of appeals

Zernike et al. explain the many changes that can occur with the proposed bill that repeals the Affordable Care Act. These potential changes will fall onto the shoulders of the states, becoming one of their biggest responsibilities. However, a loss can be seen in the end. Zernike et al. make this point by using facts and insight from people who are knowledgeable on the issue. They effectively use these appeals to pathos and logos to raise awareness of the issues that the proposed healthcare bill emphasizes, only a matter of time could tell what will happen.

Works Cited

Kate Zernike, Reed Abelson And Abby Goodnough. “New Effort to Kill Obamacare Is Called ‘the Most Radical.’” The New York Times, The New York Times, 21 Sept. 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/09/21/health/graham-cassidy-obamacare-repeal-.html?mcubz=0.

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