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. ray

    talk health care?? what would you racists say?? lets take health care away from 32 million people, lets scared old people like we do, lets let balck people have no health care. thats what you are going to say racists on the right, let all immigrant die, illegal or legal because we the white rich people have money to pay. god should wipe all you racists on the right off the face of the earth so this country and world can be a better place.

    March 30, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  2. rdepontb

    Cornyn,
    When are you and other party "leaders" going to stop wasting the party's time and energies like this? It is really NOT enough to just keep reacting to the dems' ideas and policies. They got the health care bill through, it will take years of tweaking as we all know, now it's time to jump on what we're really good at--the economy and jobs. NOW.

    March 30, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  3. Jay

    Once again the Repubs like to think that simply less taxes solves every problem.

    Are you stupid?

    It is an absolute disgrace that these guys are twisting this so well that stupid people actually are against something very good.

    March 30, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. A Guy

    Maybe they should also remind folks that it was Republicans who completely squandered a budget surplus by giving the richest 2% of Americans not one massive tax break, but two, maybe they should remind Americans that Republicans financed a prescription drug plan for seniors with money we borrowed from Communist China, or perhaps they should remind Americans that Republicans marched us into a war in Iraq over imaginary and likely completely fabricated WMDs and that we've financed that conflict with more money that Republicans borrowed from Communist China....I can keep going here....the truth: something Republicans will avoid at all costs.

    March 30, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
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