Did Obamacare Ruin or Save Your Life? Either Way, Pols Want You to #Testify

A call for personal testimonials will add fuel to an already fiery debate

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Joshua Roberts / REUTERS

A combination file photo shows opponents (L) and supporters (R) of Affordable Healthcare Act rally on the sidewalk at the Supreme Court in Washington on March 28, 2012 and on June 28, 2012 respectively.

The White House wants you to know about “Lucy from Texas,” who will save $2,300 on healthcare premiums.

The Tea Party wants you to know about “Furious in Texas,” who will see premiums jump by nearly $500.

The ranks of people-you-should-know will grow by the day as political movements on both sides of the Obamacare debate launch websites, hashtags, and video channels that will hoover up stories of doom and salvation — the more potent, the better. The battle over Obamacare is about to get very personal.

President Barack Obama acknowledged the shift in the debate on Monday, after sharing a story of a man in Lexington, Kentucky, who will see premiums drop sharply.

“I’m asking all of you to go out there and share these stories far and wide,” he said to a crowd of supporters.

There is no shortage of places to testify. The White House website has posted an open call for stories through its #GetCovered campaign, featuring quotes from relieved beneficiaries like Larry from California, Mark from Idaho, and Margaret from Washington.

The Senate Republicans’ website requests uploads of #YourStory, ideally as a YouTube video. Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee wants photos of pink slips, letters from insurers, and screenshots of healthcare exchange glitches uploaded to its #Obamacosts website.

“The hundreds of thousands of Americans who have applied for coverage aren’t tally marks or statistics,” says the White House website. On that, both sides of the debate have reached a rare point of agreement.