March 30th, 2010
10:49 AM ET
5 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. McIdiots

    Yeah keep beating that dead horse. Someone tell these guys the wars over, we won.

    March 30, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  2. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    What idiots.

    If they had compromised instead of OBSTRUCTING then they would have had their ideas (if they have any–which is doubtful) incorporated in the new law.

    March 30, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  3. Linda

    Now they want to talk? Can we say to little to late!?

    March 30, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  4. Debbie from AZ

    This is getting sickening. First they oppose and demonize the Stimulus Bill, then take credit for it in their states. First they oppose and obstruct the Health Care Reform and now they take credit for the good things in it. Wasn't it Daddy Bush who said, If you're not with us your against us. They have proven over and over by their actions, they are against us.

    March 30, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  5. Mace

    The GOP should talk about this healthcare sham that has been thrust upon us. Higher taxes are included in the new healthcare bill and business owners like myself will only shelter or give away more income. Higher earning Americans that have worked hard their whole life would rather give money away to charities of their choosing or relatives or long term employees rather than to the Government. Obama and friends are not going to raise the income needed for healthcare for this reason and deficits are going to continue to sky rocket. Look back over time and this is a proven fact that taxable income drops when tax rates rise. These people are not OBAMA sheep and are constantly planning.

    March 30, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  6. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    This is just too much. They are campaigning for repeal of the bill and are simultaneously promoting their ideas that were included as a compromise? The Republicans have become completely schizophrenic.

    March 30, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  7. Mike in MN

    A brick was throw through the window of the Michigan Republcian party office Monday night. Can't wait for the lying corrupt mainstream media to make this a major headline on all major net works and call for Democrat leaders to stop using violent code speech like the other day when Obama challanged to FIGHT the Republicans over health care reform repeal.

    March 30, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  8. Independant Thinker

    These people absolutely KNOW they couldn't possibly repeal this for years (if at all) and yet they continue with their political firestorm of drivel.

    They have nothing left to offer their base but anger and empty rhetoric.

    This is what the Tea Party is all about....ridding our government of worthless, self centered politicians that only act in their own self interest.

    Vote them out, People! Register and vote them out this fall.

    March 30, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  9. CF

    How about you republicans come up with a good idea first, then we'll talk about replacing the current one? "Don't get sick" and "die quickly" are not good ideas. Neither are tax cuts for the wealthy.

    March 30, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  10. Bertina

    This is the best example of the very ideas David Frome was describing as the WRONG approach for Republicans. Reagan was about inclusion, not exclusion and pushing the party line. This party is so far removed from Reagan and his idealism it's laughable.

    March 30, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  11. Desmond in Canada

    Looking in from outside, I think the only thing that needs to be "repealed and replaced" in the USA is the bizarre Repub party

    March 30, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  12. call me crazy

    So your telling republicans to take credit for passing health care reform when not a single republican voted for it?????

    You people are unreal. The only ones going to believe that will be... oh that's right... your supporters. The rest of us won't.

    March 30, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  13. Marcus

    Shameless spin from the Republicans.
    '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'
    'Takeover'? 'Partisan maneuvers'?
    Even when they say the obvious they have to include some spin in it!

    March 30, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  14. Joe

    And of course the mandate for people to buy insurance or face fines is of course a Repub idea instead of a single pay option.

    March 30, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  15. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    It's the Republicans who fight for big insurance companies to repeal and replace, it's the Republicans that had 8 years and did nothing, it's the Republicans who continue to obstruct, it's the Republicans who voted with GWB 100%, it's the Republicans that started a war based on lies, it's the Republicans who use fear tactics and prey upon our senior citizens. It's the Republicans up to the same old game of lies and fear tactics, but what have they done for you lately.

    March 30, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  16. Marcus

    '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.'

    Then OFFER IT! Show us a viable alternative!

    '· 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.'

    Let me check what happened between 2001-06 when Republicans had a President on their side and control of the Congress...
    Hmmmm...
    LIARS!

    March 30, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  17. vic bullard

    The party of "NO" has a health care plan..?? Let me see..could it be.."Tax cuts for the rich"! That will really save our economy and provide health care..give me a break!

    March 30, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  18. precious

    You just won my very first vote.

    March 30, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  19. gary

    it was Republicans that voted against all proposals!

    March 30, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  20. ran

    More fear/hate/obstructionism/purity ideology by the Republicans.

    If they forced all the things that is in this bill already then why did they on mass vote "NO."????

    The Republicans are in for one rude awakening come 2010 election when they lose instead of winning like they think they will.

    We know who is there to help us the people: The Democrats.

    March 30, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  21. Dano

    Sen. Cornyn if all these things you say you fought for are in the bill, then surely a few of your guys should have been able to vote for the bill even if you disagreed with some of the other provisions. If you only vote for bills that contain exactly what you propose, you'll end up voting no on everything (hence the phrase "Party of No"). It's called compromise and it's the way the minority party has had to operate since our country was founded. You seem to forget your party is the MINORITY party now, but if you were so concerned about these issues why didn't your guys enact health care reform during the 6 years that Repubs were the majority party in the House & Senate AND you had W in the White House???

    March 30, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  22. Deborah/kansascity

    Republicans are for the wealthy, the corporations, and themselves. Republicans are for wars to keep the middle and lower classes oppressed. Republicans are only for lower taxes for the already wealthy and big business. Republicans are against frivilous law suits, except when filed by them against healthcare reform. They are all for patients who are killed, or severly disabled for life, not being able to sue the Dr. The Republicans love reckless spending, as long as, the money is borrowed and not raised by taxes on the wealthy or big business. Republicasn love one party rule as long as it is their party.

    March 30, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  23. me in NH

    oh sure,

    now you got ideas.

    GOP = PARTY OF NO.

    NO FUTURE

    LATE IDEAS

    March 30, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  24. Wilda Dills

    replace with what?

    March 30, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  25. Joseph-Ohio

    Republicans make me sick constantly talking about "the will of the American People" the only will they support is the "will of the Rich American People". Talk, talk, talk, and still no details. That is all Republicans are about these days......Vote No on EVERYTHING, and say we have a better plan, but wait....Where is the plan? This is just more hot air from a flat tire trying to inflate itself.

    March 30, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
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