Saturday, January 2, 2010

GOP Healthcare Plan: Delay, Obstruct, Lie, Rinse, Repeat

Original Link:,-Obstruct,-Lie,-Rinse,-Repeat

The RNC is building on the GOP consultant Alex Castellanos's messaging memo advising Republicans: "If we slow this sausage-making process down, we can defeat it, and advance real reform that will actually help. Key Message Point: We've got to 'SLOW DOWN the OBAMA EXPERIMENT WITH OUR HEALTH.'" The external manifestation of that is their scary Web site, and now Sam Stein at HuffPo has the lastest internal effort, a private memo from the RNC to anti-reform advocates (i.e., Republicans).

The memo, which was obtained by the Huffington Post from a Democratic source, provides the clearest illustration to date of the political playbook being used to stop Democratic attempts at a health care overhaul. Much of the material mirrors the speeches and presentations made by conservatives both inside and out of elected office to date. Obama's plan for health care is deemed an "experiment" and a "risk" that could bankrupt the country and dangerously change the doctor-patient relationship.

In particular, the 12-page memo makes the case that it is a Republican priority to slow down the consideration of health care reform before it can become codified.

"The Republican National Committee will engage in every activity we can to slow down this mad rush while promoting sensible alternatives that address health care costs and preserve quality," the memo affirmatively declares.

Of course, those "sensible alternatives" from the Republicans have yet to actually materialize, and don't go looking for them in this memo, either.

As for a Republican alternative to the president's agenda, the RNC memo doesn't offer much in the way of details, save to make the argument that the status quo isn't as bad as it is being painted.

"The Republican Party knows we have the best health care system in the world," the memo declares. "The Republican Party also knows it is a system in need of reform because it is costing our families and our businesses too much."

Here are the RNC talking points you're going to be hearing ad nauseum over the next few weeks from conservative pundits and on the floor of the House and Senate. And of course, Michael Steele.

President Obama and Democrats are conducting a grand experiment with our economy, our country, and now our health care.

President Obama's massive spending experiments have created more debt than at any other time in our nation's history.

The President experimented with a $780 billion dollar budget-busting stimulus plan and unemployment is still rising. The President experimented with banks and auto companies, and now we're on the hook for tens of billions of dollars with no exit plan.
Now the President is proposing more debt and more risk through a trillion dollar experiment with our health care.

Democrats are proposing a government controlled health insurance system, which will control care, treatments, medicines and even what doctors a patient may see.

This health care experiment will have consequences for generations, but President Obama and Democrats want to ram this legislation through Congress in two months.

President Obama's health care experiment is too much, too fast, too soon. Our country cannot afford to fix health care through a rushed experiment.

Americans want health care reform that addresses, not increases, cost or debt.
Government takeover is the wrong way to go -- health care decisions should remain between the doctor and the patient.

I particularly like that last point--healthcare decisions between a doctor and patient, unless of course the patient is a pregnant woman. In which case government gets to dictate.

This is just longer form (10 pages, in fact) Bill Kristol. Kill it, kill it through delay. The sooner Democrats on the Hill recognize that delaying this process just plays into the Republicans' hands, the better.

But it also has the potential to put the Republicans in deeper political doo-doo, as the White House well knows. They are exposing the GOP's effort to kill healthcare reform for what it really is--an effort to bring down a very popular president. They're playing politics with our lives.

Update: It gets even more absurd. Check out this from Greg Sargent:

Turns out that RNC chair Michael Steele, who agreed approvingly that health care failure could be Obama’s "Waterloo," himself lacked health insurance for years and even advised his own children not to get hurt because he couldn’t afford to pay their medical bills.

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