March 30th, 2010
10:49 AM ET
4 years ago

Republican candidates told to talk health care

Atlanta (CNN) – Republican Senate candidates are being instructed Tuesday to promote the party's health care policy proposals as they continue to push the "repeal and replace" theme following passage of President Obama's health care reform legislation.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn, who oversees Senate Republican campaign efforts, outlines the key health care talking points in a new memo, "Moving Forward," that was also conveniently sent to some media outlets including CNN.

"On the trail, it's critical that we remind people of the fact that it was Republicans who fought to force insurance companies to compete with one another over state lines for Americans' business," Cornyn writes in the memo. "It was Republicans who fought to reform the junk lawsuits that raise medical costs and lower quality by forcing doctors to practice 'medicine.' It was Republicans who fought for policies that protected Americans with preexisting conditions and it was Republicans who proposed health care reforms that didn't cut Medicare by $500 billion and raise Americans' taxes by $400 million."

Cornyn, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, also emphasized a talking point that you should expect Republicans to repeat as the midterm election nears: Americans prefer checks and balances in the system.

"Americans don't want a one-party rule in Washington that brings them unprecedented government intrusion in their lives, with no accountability," Cornyn writes.

Responding to the memo, Democratic Senatorial Communications Director Eric Schultz said, ""Republicans need all the spin they can muster after a yearlong transparent display of shilling for the insurance industry. "

"As they adopt the same strategy for financial regulatory reform, we suggest the memo writers get to work trying to creatively defend their zealous advocacy for Wall Street," he also said. "The bottom line is, Republicans in Washington want their Senate candidates to run on repeal, and nearly all of them have succumb to the pressure. They are now are in the unfortunate position of looking voters in the eye and pledging to take away their health care, reinstate the donut hole for seniors, and restore pre-existing conditions for insurance companies."

Full memo

To: Republican Senate Candidates
From: U.S. Senator John Cornyn, NRSC Chairman
Re: Moving Forward
Date: Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Just hours after popping the champagne and patting themselves on the back for passing a trillion dollar government health care plan that raises taxes by hundreds of millions of dollars, reality is setting in for the Democrats.

The Department of Labor reported last Friday that the already-high unemployment rate rose again in 27 states during the month of February 2010, setting records in four states – including in Nevada, the home state of Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), where unemployment hit 13.2 percent.

Businesses across the country – including American job creators John Deere and Caterpillar – announced that this massive legislation will cost their shareholders tens of millions of dollars, placing them in an even more vulnerable economic position against their global competitors. AT&T announced that they would assess, and likely reduce, the health care benefits provided currently to employees. California reported that the bill will add another $2 to $3 billion annually in increased costs, which will ultimately be passed on to taxpayers in the form of higher fees and property taxes. And critical state industries – such as the ski industry in New Hampshire and Colorado – announced they will likely hire fewer workers because they simply cannot afford the higher costs and mandates resulting from this bill.

The impact of this flawed legislation has been echoed in local headlines around the country. For example:

· "Polk Jobless Rate Holds Steady At 13.4 Percent "
· "A Rough Time For Nevada's Unemployed "
· "Report: Illinois Has Lost Over 100,000 Jobs To China "
· "Pay Drops For Colorado Workers "
· "Florida Workers Must Get Used To Long-Term Joblessness "
· "Another Hard Year For California Economy: Report "

As U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) appropriately noted in the Republican radio address this weekend:

"Most people aren't interested in celebrating a bill that makes their lives more complicated, takes more out of their paychecks and puts decisions they're used to making themselves into the hands of federal bureaucrats. Most people aren't celebrating the fact that their insurance premiums will go up. Seniors aren't popping champagne corks at more than a half a trillion dollars in Medicare cuts. And, job creators, already struggling in a down economy, aren't doing any cartwheels over all the mandates and new taxes they'll have to shoulder as a result of this bill."

This is the real story that is quickly taking hold across the country. It's a story which has been missed or ignored by the Democrat elites in Washington. It's a story that is not, however, lost on Americans who will cast their ballots this November.

In a Washington Post poll taken after the Democrats' health spending bill was passed and signed into law, support for the bill is unchanged and upside-down:
· Despite the bill's passage and signing, support for the health spending bill remains statistically unchanged since July and remains upside-down at 46-50 in this poll
o The intensity is with the opposition, with 4 in 10 "strongly" opposed-equal to the intensity of August
o 46 percent of respondents support a full repeal of the health care bill
· The President's handling of health care is up slightly at 48-49
o But 43 percent "strongly disapprove" (equal to the intensity of August) while only 33 percent "strongly approve"

And pollsters not on the payroll of the Democrat campaign committees are also acknowledging this serious political problem for their party. In an article titled, "After reform, no quick poll boost," Politico reported Monday, for example, that Democrat pollster Doug Schoen said, "It's pretty clear to me that public opinion is arrayed against the plan. And among swing voters, opinion is even more against the plan. I don't think there's any evidence it will be good politically, except for maybe some marginal impact firing up the base…..Them's the facts."

As Members of Congress travel around their home states for recess this week, congressional Democrats may consider this a victory for their personal agendas, however, the majority of Americans clearly disagree. There is no doubt that the Democrats' contentious health care takeover, and the partisan maneuvers they used to force it into law, will be a critical issue for both parties over next seven months – and the contrast for voters could not be more clear. Americans have a chance to restore the checks-and-balances and accountability that they deserve in Washington by electing Republicans to the U.S. Senate. Or they can maintain the status quo and endorse the Democrats' partisan maneuvers and costly spending agenda that will continue to cost critical American jobs.

Republicans are offering a robust and positive alternative to the current one-party Democrat rule in Washington. We're offering constructive solutions that, unlike those of the Democrats in Washington, don't fly in the face of our fiscal and economic reality, our Constitution, or the will of the American people.

You and I must remind Americans of that, because our Democrat opponents will use every tool at their disposal to distort our record and our ideas. On the trail, it's critical that we remind people of the fact that it was Republicans who fought to force insurance companies to compete with one another over state lines for Americans' business. It was Republicans who fought to reform the junk lawsuits that raise medical costs and lower quality by forcing doctors to practice "defensive medicine." It was Republicans who fought for policies that protected Americans with preexisting conditions and it was Republicans who proposed health care reforms that didn't cut Medicare by $500 billion and raise Americans' taxes by $400 million.

It's Republicans who continue to believe that we should focus on reforms which actually lower health care costs for Americans, first and foremost.

I have been honored to travel all over our country as NRSC Chairman in the past fifteen months, and one thing is clear: Americans know that Democrat-run Washington is out of control – and they want to replace it with a government that listens to them and works for them.

Americans don't want a one-party rule in Washington that brings them unprecedented government intrusion in their lives, with no accountability. They don't want higher taxes, reckless spending and crippling debt that our children and grandchildren will have to pay off.

The difference between Republicans and Democrats is clear – both in our specific proposals and the big ideas behind them.

· Democrats are for higher taxes, reckless spending, crippling debt, and a federal government that interferes more and more in Americans' daily lives.

· Republicans are for lower taxes, controlled spending, fiscal sanity, and a renewal of the entrepreneurial spirit that will provide Americans with secure, well-paying jobs, and allow them to build a foundation of prosperity for generations to come.

As Republican candidates for Senate, your job is to continue drawing these important contrasts with the Democrats' agenda in Washington, while advancing our positive agenda for creating jobs, and striving to bring fiscal sanity to our Federal government. I'm confident that, given the choice, Americans will overwhelmingly choose our strong values and leadership this November.


Filed under: Health care
soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. FM

    It is quite interesting to see, the Repub Party doesn't have any concrete idea of what its stands for. They can not come with a big prolonged list of ideas and expect they will stick in people's mind!

    March 30, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  2. Jerry

    "Americans don't want a one-party rule in Washington that brings them unprecedented government intrusion in their lives, with no accountability,"

    Apart from the first 6 years of the Bush administration, in which case you were an unpatriotic traitor to even question government intrusion in your life. Is that about right?

    March 30, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  3. Nick , California

    What a bunch of losers!!

    "Republicans are offering a robust and positive alternative to the current one-party Democrat rule"

    Well maybe if you got your head out of your butt you would have joined in the fight for health care for all Americans! Instead you took the political gamble thinking that you could scare enough seniors to get votes this November! You gotta stop the fear mongering and actually do something for your paycheck! You were hoping that you could bring down the President, but your old tricks are exactly that.... old!! You are exactly whats wrong with this country... Claim to be the MORAL, FISCAL, AND RELIGIOUS party when you are cheating on your wives, spending trillions on UNFUNDED TAX CUTS for the wealthy and Corporations that only follow the rules of money and not of human compassion, and then claiming God has called on you to save this country from the atheists!

    March 30, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  4. SpringGambit

    Kinda reminds me of Governor Bobby Jindal who said publically over and over again that he would refuse the stimulus money. Never mind that he not only ACCEPTED the money, but could be seen throughout Louisiana pandering to the cameras handing out those larger than life stimulus checks carrying HIS signature.

    You go, hyprocrits!

    March 30, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  5. Doug,lib jersey

    Democrat congressman Dingell made a mistake and told the real reason behind Obamacare and what the Democrats want to do.

    “Let me remind you: This has been going on for years; we are bringing it to a halt. The harsh fact of the matter is when you are going to pass legislation that will cover 300 [million] American people in different ways it takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people. "

    If you don't want to be controlled the vote Republican.

    March 30, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  6. Rafly

    Everybody knows who taxes more than any president.

    March 30, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  7. a health economist

    Finally, they are saying something more than "no". Now I can pick apart the holes.

    Yes, there are many against the bill. However, many are against it because IT DOESN'T DO ENOUGH AND THEY WANT THE GOVERNMENT TO HAVE MORE CONTROL. That conveniently gets left out of the Republican talking points.

    The cuts in Medicare they are screaming about a cuts from waste and fraud – i.e. the very same frivolous law suites the Republicans are against.

    They point out that while approval is up for the health care bill – excuse me, law – it is not a statistical difference. Meaning it is still not liked. Unfortunately they do not use the same logic to say that while 27 states had higher unemployment rates from the previous months data IT IS NOT A STATISTICAL DIFFERENCE. Nothing like ignoring statistics when it suits you. I'd get fired if I did that.

    March 30, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  8. Fed Up

    I'll bet if they ever get to implementing it, the Republicans will vigorously pursue the "repeal" part, but conveniently forget the "replace" promise.

    March 30, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  9. walt

    Haha, Its funny how they voted no and bash the bill, but want to point out all the good things in it to win political points.... This party is a joke.

    March 30, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  10. Justin

    It was Republicans who fought for miniscule, cosmetic fixes that would have accomplished little or nothing to fix a system that's badly broken.

    And just this little bit after eight years in power where they did zero.

    I call B.S. The GOP isn't serious about healthcare reform. "Incremental" won't get it done.

    March 30, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  11. mark owens

    Obama do'sit care about you.He cares about money and power.This not about healthcare this is about freedom.You better open your eyes befor your freedom is gone.

    March 30, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  12. Matt

    So first Republicans were adamantly against the bill, calling it socialism and other such names; now they want to take some credit?? I think voters need to keep in mind the fact that it passed with ZERO Republican support. You can’t take credit for something you had nothing to do with.

    It's clear to see that they realize what's going on. As the bill takes some effect, and some of the benefits are enacted, the Republicans have a losing argument with repealing it. November may not be as great of an election as they previously thought.

    March 30, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  13. Sgt. USMC

    "It was Republicans who fought for policies that protected Americans with preexisting conditions"

    Then why were Americans with preexisting conditions being denied by insurers?

    Again, your credibility goes down the toilet.

    Next time, do not claim to have done something about the problem when the problem still exists!

    Also, don't vote NO on everything and when the battle is over pretend like you were there to help the American people out all along!

    Repubs, you did nothing but sit back, vote NO, spend thousands at strip clubs and let the Democrats do all the work.

    Thanks but no thanks, your ideas are not welcomed.

    March 30, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  14. CHIPS

    Yell and make sure you say you didn't vote for anything, because all you do is double talk. You really don't wont to help people.

    March 30, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  15. Dave

    ""Americans don't want a one-party rule in Washington that brings them unprecedented government intrusion in their lives, with no accountability," Cornyn writes."

    Yes, that's correct. And it sounds exactly like what the Bush administration and the GOP dolts in Congress gave us. Give me a break. Cornyn has no problem with "one-party" rule – as long as it's his party.

    March 30, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  16. haren

    Republican has no credibility to talk about health care.
    With them health care reform is LIKE north and south pole.
    Beware of them they never proposed any health care reform when they were in driver seat in Jr. Bush years.
    They are in the pockets of insurance company and they never did anything good for middle class people.
    DON'T TRUST THEM AND VOTE THEM OUT SO THAT WE CAN HAVE ENERGY,EDUCATION,FINACIAL AND CAP AND TRADE BILL.

    March 30, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  17. Patriot

    And, it was Republicans who fought implementing health care only because it was an issue important to President Obama.

    As an independent, it is getting harder to take Republicans seriously. There are conservative ideas in the new health care legislation but because it came from this President, it's verboten.

    Bob Dole, Bill Frist, and Richard Nixon all wanted individual health care mandates.... go figure.

    March 30, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  18. wycliffe

    These are Hypocrites. All along they said No to heath care reform and now they are pretending that they are the ones who proposed all those wonderful ideas. They all voted NO to all those Ideas.

    March 30, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  19. David in Houston

    "Republicans are for lower taxes..."

    You left out 'fear' & 'bigotry'.

    March 30, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  20. SC-Pub "no" more

    Yea, talk it up; you have absolutely NOTHING you have accomplished to run on!

    March 30, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  21. rita

    Walking with the Republicans is always 1 step forward and 10 steps back.

    March 30, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  22. puzzled

    These guys are nuts. They were esentially rogues when they had control now they want us to think that they are the ones with all the morals and concern for the people? If that was the case, why was the deficit so high when Obama took office last year? They are obviously drinking their own Kool-aid.

    March 30, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  23. norwalkpa

    love how rove can get threatened and screamed at when making a public appearance. that's O-KEE Doe-KEE. but a few tea party signs and an 'alleged' spitting incident and CNN and the networks have kittens.

    we're already seeing the negetive affects of the monstrousity. kids w/ pre-existing conditions not covered until 2014. tanning tax. billions slashed from medicare. would you worry if you were on it? WHEN will we be allowed by the national media to express our disfavor for this legislation and get taken seriously?

    and back to the threats. a guy was arrested for threatening republican eric cantor and his family. never saw anything on the news. wonder if i would of if it were chuck schummer? i think everyone reading this knows the answer to that.

    March 30, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  24. bk

    Where were their ideas about the economy, jobs, healthcare during the Cheney/Bush admin.? Now all they can do is criticize. Anybody coming up with solid ideas? Incite, Incite, Incite. That's their idea of how to work as a member of Congress.

    March 30, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  25. CHUCK

    Why did'nt the GOP come to table with these ideas in the first place.

    I have a problem with this statement:
    Republicans are for lower taxes, controlled spending, fiscal sanity, and a renewal of the entrepreneurial spirit that will provide Americans with secure, well-paying jobs, and allow them to build a foundation of prosperity for generations to come.

    The GOP have clearly forgotten that they were the ones who crippled our economy. You wasted the budget surplus left to you by President Clinton. It is a little too late to be conservative. When the you were in power all your party did was spend, just like the democrats. Tax cuts to the rich is not prosperity. You guys need to wake up. The best thing you can do is work with President Obama to bring about the prosperity you are speaking of. Just remember that the republican party has done nothing to help this country recover from the economic meltdown, this is troubling because the GOP is the cause of that meltdown. Please remember all I have said because I will come November.

    March 30, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
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