Friday, May 08, 2009


The Rethuglicans have been doing everything they can to prevent President Obama and the Congressional Democrats from passing any laws that would insure all Americans could get affordable health care. They have called every plan European Socialism. That's strange, because the Europeans have better health care than we do here. They also say that the public will no longer be able to choose their own doctors. If that was so, and it was socialsm, why is it that when someone uses Medicare or Medicaid, both of which are social programs (or socialism), they are not told which doctors they can see.

The Rethuglicans have a plan they are formulating to stop health care reform in it's tracks.

From Alter Net:

The Secret Right-Wing Strategy on Health Care-Exposed!

If conservatives make the debate about what is good and bad in the Obama plan - they will win.

Conservative pollster Frank Luntz recently provided right wingers on Capitol Hill a secret 28-page memo entitled The Language of Healthcare 2009—which has leaked! The memo was intended to offer a message framing strategy to defeat President Obama’s plan to provide health care for all. But the document is more useful to progressives than conservatives.

Dr. Frank Luntz is a right-wing spinmeister who won broad influence by acting as pollster for Newt Gingrich, helping to frame the 1994 Republican Contract with America. Over the last dozen years, corporations and conservative ideologues have paid Luntz tens of millions of dollars to craft their messages, and his research has included “hundreds of thousands of telephone interviews, hundreds of dial sessions and focus groups, and literally a million research hours.” In short, he knows what he’s talking about.

Luntz briefed House Republicans about his findings at a closed-door session yesterday (where he was very angry that his memo had been leaked). The memo is based on polling and dial sessions conducted within the last few weeks. If you want all the gory details, you can read the entire memo here. The substance can be grouped into three overall lessons for progressives.

First, progressive pollsters have been entirely right about health care. Conservatives who oppose reform have very little public support.

Progressives have conducted a great deal of survey research on health care over the past two years, much of it by top pollster Celinda Lake working with the Herndon Alliance, FamiliesUSA, AFL-CIO, and Health Care for America Now.

Lake has made it clear that Americans strongly support progressive legislation to guarantee quality, affordable health care for all, as long as they can choose their doctor, their healthcare package, and their insurance provider.


Second, the best conservative strategy is to frame progressive legislation as a “government takeover” of health care, resulting in bureaucracy, delay, and loss of patient choice. Progressives must block this argument and counterattack.

Luntz tells conservatives that the best and probably only way to defeat the Obama plan is to tell people they personally will experience lower-quality care, and that government bureaucrats will make choices for them.


Third, conservatives can’t succeed without offering their own plan for health care reform. Progressives must hound conservatives to lay out that plan—because it will be horrific.


If conservatives succeed in making the debate all about what is good and bad in the Obama plan—if they can get away with just criticizing details—then they probably can have a substantial negative impact. But if they’re hounded into creating and disclosing a substitute health care plan—and the debate is about which is the better plan, Obama’s or the conservatives’—then the right wingers will be marginalized and rendered ineffective by the out-of-the-mainstream proposal that they will inevitably offer. So get ready to hound them!

Incredibly, all this advice from Luntz comes just days after he told a reporter that he’s become a pollster for Hollywood studios because he’s had enough of politics. “I’m tired of selling reality,” he said. “Reality sucks. It’s mean. Divisive. Negative…I don’t like what politics has become.”

I guess hypocrisy goes hand-in-hand with lying.

If you want to stand up and fight against the right-wing lies and for quality, affordable health care for all, visit our friends at Health Care for America Now. They’ll tell you what you can do.

There is much much more that goes with this.
Please go here to read all the rest to know everything the Rethuglicans are trying to do to prevent us from having quality affordable health care.

(Hat-tip to Bernie Horn)


themom said...

They managed to throw out the "single-pay" protestors from the committee meeting earlier in the week. These high and mighty politicians have no clue what it is like to have to decide whether to eat or go to the doctor. They think COBRA is such a great benefit...I know very few people who could afford COBRA, after they had no jobs - as the cost was 3 times what their health care cost while employed.

Grandpa Eddie said...

themom - You are so right. They don't have a clue because most of their medical coverage is covered by us.

We checked into COBRA. The only way to get it is if you have lost your job, and the former employer has to pick up 65% of the cost. Even with that, my insurance right now is costing us $120.00/month (still have it because of the lay-off), but that would increase to $1350.00/month if I were to go on COBRA. We can't afford that, and because of my RA I can't be without insurance. Without it we can't afford the $600.00+/month for my meds alone.

Gordon said...

What Luntz knows about reality is how to spin bullshit for Repugs.

Right now, our COBRA costs us $723 per month, due to increase to about $1300 in October.

Single payer is the only answer. Period.

Grandpa Eddie said...

Gordon - Single payer definitely the only way to go.

I just don't know how people can afford COBRA or any other private insurance with the way rates and medical costs keep spiraling upward.

Riot Kitty said...

It all just fucking sucks. It's beyond broken. Mr RK got laid off, and for us to get COBRA would cost about $1,200 a month. I work for a nonprofit. As if! So now my job covers my ins., but it would be more than $400 to cover my husband, so we can't do it.

I love how the GOP wants "fiscal responsibility" and "independence" and "no government involvement" if it's anything to help feed, clothe, or insure people, but if it's a corporate bailout or tax break - government involvement all the way! Those lame fucks.

Grandpa Eddie said...

Riot Kitty - The wealthy get wealth-fare and we get the shaft 'cause we get to pay for it!

Jacob said...

Let's make it simple: either everyone in the country gets access to the same health care system members of Congress enjoy, or members of Congress give up their health care in favor of non-government providers.

That ought to solve the problem.

All we need do is start a movement of the hoi polloi to vote out any member of Congress who refuses to go along with the plan.

Grandpa Eddie said...

Jacob - We should be able to have the same kind of health care that they get.

As far as voting them out, most of 'em need to go anyway.

Cats r Flyfishn said...

Luntz tells conservatives that the best and probably only way to defeat the Obama plan is to tell people they personally will experience lower-quality care, and that government bureaucrats will make choices for them.A government plan can't be any worse than the current insurance industry plans. I have a client that I bill services to a chiropracter who in turn bills the insurance company. The other day, we both had to stop providing services because the client's treatment plan was under "utilization review". I was informed that all services provided since the middle of March may not be covered. Realize that the treatment plan was approved last December, the insurance company put a halt to the treatment in the middle of March and just notified the providers and the client last week. This is service from the insurance industry that I could do without. The goal of the insurance industry is to keep taking our money and frustrate the hell out of providers when it comes to collecting payment so that the providers eventually stop accepting insurance. The insurance companies collect money and then never have to pay providers. It's a win win for them and a major loss for us.

Grandpa Eddie said...

Cats - That is such bullshit that the insurance company can get away with that. When the ins cos do shit like that, what the is the sense of even having ins. They only cover what they want to cover...which is usually the cheap stuff.

And this crap about a bureaucrat telling people who the can see and where they can go is a bunch of crap. Medicare and Medicaid don't tell people which Drs they can see, and that's socialized medicine. It's the same old scare tactics the Rethuglicans have been using for years, and people (including Dems in Congress) have to stop listening to the lies.

sue said...

thanks Eddie, its better but I think alot of the problems come from my cheap stupidass computer. Sometimes I wanna throw it out the window!
I agree about Cobra, its a fuckin ripoff! I can go to the DR for a visit without ins, for about 60.00. But I know for those who have medical problems and monthly meds, its rough going without ins. I hope this congress and Obama don't fuck this chance and back away like pussys!!

Nancy said...

Good morning Grandpa Eddie and all! When a person loses a job, how is a person supposed to afford the exorbitant COBRA costs for healthcare? It's so unreasonable, only a republican could have thought of it.

ZenYenta said...

COBRA would cost someone between 1400+ and 1600+ for a family plan where I work. That's what we pay for it and that's what a former employee would have to pay. It's just not possible to do. A lot is going to depend on how the media presents, I guess. I don't see them pressing any of the conservatives - Republicans or so called moderate Dems on exactly what impact their little ideas to nibble a few bucks off medical costs will have on the consumer. Very little and there are some things they want to do that would make it considerably worse for people who live in the states that afford some regulation and consumer protection.

Going to your link, now, Grandpa Eddie, to see what I should be doing.

Grandpa Eddie said...

sue - I'm glad that helped. I only have a few loyal readers who will post a comment and it bothers me when one of them can't "get thru" to read my posts.

I hope you're not using one of those cheap-ass Wally World E-machines. Those things suck!

Grandpa Eddie said...

Good Morning Nancy! I'm glad to see you're up and around. Hope you are feeling better.

I don't know just how they figure a person who has lost their job is supposed to be able to afford COBRA.

COBRA was started during the Clinton administration at the request of Uncle Bill. After the Rethuglican controlled Congress got their slimy mitts on it, they pretty much destroyed the original idea. Ya know, they couldn't make things hard for the insurance companies, that would just be wrong. It was much better to fuck-over the working stiff who just lost his job.

Grandpa Eddie said...

ZenYenta - The price someone has to pay to get nominal coverage is unbelievable! I know I will be losing the Ins I have through my employer shortly because they won't be calling me back, and as soon as my unemployment benefits run out they will be dropping me off the Ins, if they haven't already.

Because of my medical conditions, I can't be without Ins, but we can't afford to put me on COBRA either.

Nancy said...

Thanks, Eddie. I'm feeling much better this morning finally. So it was Uncle Bill who cooked up this turkey called COBRA? Well the thought was there, but the cost ridiculous. Single payer is truly the only way to go. I hate the thought of anyone having to go without life-saving meds or medical care because the cost of COBRA (the very thing that was supposed to help) is too high.