CNN obtains GOP playbook to target Obamacare
November 21st, 2013
09:35 AM ET
11 months ago

CNN obtains GOP playbook to target Obamacare

Washington (CNN) - It's a playbook on the bruising field of health care politics, complete with "x's and o's."

The House Republican strategy memo, entitled "Because of Obamacare... I lost my insurance," offers samples of talking points, social media, videos, digital flyers, op-eds, and a fact sheet for GOP lawmakers doing battle against the president's signature legislative achievement.

Read the playbook (PDF)

Obtained by CNN, and reported first by Roll Call, the playbook was released late last month. A Republican source who provided the strategy memo to CNN says it will be updated and released to GOP House members Thursday.

"The administration now has a serious competence problem. Healthcare.gov is so much more than a website. The website should have been the easy part," the playbook reads.

The disclosure of the memo, produced by the office of House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, comes amid a sustained Republican onslaught against the Affordable Care Act.

President Obama has noted the highly organized opposition to his signature legislative achievement.

“One of the problems we’ve had is one side of Capitol Hill is invested in failure,” Obama said at a Wall Street Journal event with some of the nation's top CEO's Tuesday.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz said the GOP's "18 page playbook of partisan attacks is 18 pages longer than their health care plan."

"In the playbook, there’s not a single word devoted to helping constituents enroll or offering an alternative idea to help Americans gain access to quality, affordable care," he added.

A spokesperson for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Democrats will continue to back the program.

"While Republicans continue to fixate on sabotaging health reform and root for failure, House Democrats will continue to stand tall in support of the Affordable Care Act, work to strengthen the health reform law as implementation continues, and ensure that millions of uninsured Americans get coverage," Drew Hammill said in a statement.


Filed under: Congress • Obamacare
soundoff (386 Responses)
  1. watching_rome_burn

    It's a playbook because it contains updated, pertinent information of major importance to many Americans? So, what's the down side of having accurate information available?

    November 21, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  2. Larry

    Does it mention how much the GOP spent to hire professional hackers to mess with the web site? Does it list the republicans who have encouraged health insurers to drop coverage on people currently uninsured when they used the web site to hunt for cheaper insurance? Does it mention that the GOP is not going to do anything productive to help the American people while a Democrat is in the White House? Sure hope we hear the truth – oops – we are talking about the GOP aren't we.

    November 21, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  3. Deomcorats,Obama bad for America.

    Well formed game plan, keep the pressure on, destroy Obamacare, expose it for what it is, socialized medicine. The goverment controling what treatment you can receive and what you can not. Nevermind what doctors say need to be done. They do not have final say in your healthcare.

    November 21, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  4. Silence DoGood

    Favorite lie (so many – I just picked one) from the Attack Plan: "57% Americans disagree with all or some of ACA"
    So people who generally like it but disagree with any small part are included.
    Many liberals like me who wanted it to GO FARTHER are included!

    If ACA is so obviously bad, why does GOP have to lie and distort statistics?
    Interesting that Mathematics seems to be as unpopular as Evolution with the cave people.

    November 21, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  5. Jay

    Here's how to make Obamacare look bad: just talk about it using facts and examples. That's what it sounds like this "playbook" does ... it's more like a report.

    November 21, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  6. just saying

    looks more like a playbook to save the american people and this country from a known and sure disaster, obamacare. it is good to know that at least one political party, the republicans, has the good of the entire country front and center in their agenda.

    it is clear that democrats and obama simply used a situation (uninsured people) to justify the government takeover and destruction of our healthcare system. instead of trying to fix specifically what needed to be imprroved or changed, they blow up everything and reworked 1/6th of our economy to work as they saw fit. you losing your healthcare plan, losing your doctor, paying far more, well, that was of no concern to them. they would simply lie about that and you wouldn't care about it.

    November 21, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  7. Data Driven

    On deeper reflection, I see now that the conservatives here are EMBARRASSED by the fact that CNN is being the mouthpiece for their side's rhetoric, rather than being delighted by it. Hence all the comments about CNN "defending" Obamacare. (???)

    Whatever, guys - you're really, really strange.

    November 21, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  8. ChrisM

    Tell Ted Cruz, Millions of PEOPLE CAN NOT GET HEALTH INSURANCE IN TEXAS BECAUSE TEXAS WON'T EXPAND MEDICAID. Those people are the WORKING POOR in Texas and there are MILLIONS of them.

    November 21, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  9. Bubba

    The Party of Reagan and Lincoln has been reduced to the Party of Honey Boo Boo. How silly the GOP has become. How very very silly indeed.

    November 21, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  10. skarphace

    Everybody in the world (except Republican voters, apparently), already knew that Republican lawmakers have been invested in seeing any universal healthcare system fail. Nothing in this GOP playbook should come as any surprise. "Make our President fail" has been their top priority since before Obama took office.

    Republicans do not want the wealthy paying a cent to help the less fortunate. If it was their choice, the entire social safety net would be abolished and our poorest citizens would be sick, naked, homeless, uneducated, and starving while the wealthy kept all the wealth for themselves. Republicans want an oligarchy, not a Democratic Republic.

    November 21, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  11. VEW2012

    @Tom1940. The Affordable Care Act contains 160 GOP amendments, they were invited to the table, but no they were determined to make President Obama a one term president. They are so set on destroying this country and its workers that they would not back their own mandated Heritage Foundation insurance plan. The same plan passed by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts, the same plan used by the Heritage Foundation and Newt Gingrich to scuttle the Clinton single payer plan in the 1990's. They were invited, and many of their proposals are a part of the ACA legislation.

    November 21, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  12. Jason

    These comments are ridiculous. Instead of being outraged by what politics have become in this country, essentially a cola war (except the stakes are our country's citizens, not fizzy sugar water), I just see people defending one side of the isle. What's with this impulse to get caught up and buy into all the fighting instead of asking why everything is such a mess? Until that happens the Democrat vs. Republican thing will become harder and harder to tell apart from WWE Monday Night Raw. Just read the above talking points in the voice of Macho Man Randy Savage if you're bored lol. Can we get a 3rd party in there btw? We're "the greatest nation" yet we only have 1 more option than the absolute worst system, dictatorship/monarchy? No wonder the rest of the 1st world is laughing. I'm sure this will get responses like "well that's bc the (insert Democrat or Republican according to your particular bias) are ruining it with thier (insert recent media talking point". Wake up everyone!

    November 21, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  13. Tom

    I truly believe that the website should've been the easiest part and paying for healthcare is the hardest. The American people only vote for politicians that willing the dip their hands into the treasury department and pull out free money, and Obama trying to do just that. What the American people don't know is that we can't just keep taking what we don't have. "I voted for Obama because he giving me free phone" but who is paying for that phone?

    November 21, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  14. Donna

    Thomas
    Then why to Brits speak highly of there Social healthcare system ?
    --
    Because they can come here for treatment instead of dying in the waiting rooms hoping to get treatment.

    There is a difference between socialism and communism .
    --
    Only in the dictionary and the simple minds of leftists. Both hive approaches that place the needs of the individual and his family below that of the hive/government.

    November 21, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  15. smc

    There is mounting evidence of intentional right-wing efforts to sabotage the Obamacare roll-out. Let's just call it the TREASON that it is. This extremist GOP playbook is going to embarrassingly backfire in their faces.

    November 21, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  16. Carol

    The GOP are not the sum and be all in this plan, the American people have been awakened to the facts of this not being in their best interest. I ignored the GOP warnings because my trust was in the administration I voted for. Now it is easy to see why the GOP was fighting against it so hard. It will bring more, and more problems. It needs to stop and both the Democrats and the Republicans should work on a good health plan together, one that is a Health Plan for Americans good health, not one that is a plan for Health Control of the citizens.

    November 21, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  17. ChuckChucklesAgain

    The Democrats are destroying themselves. They took on health care there own way, and they failing in an epic way, and harming millions and millions of Americans in the process.

    They are harming every segment of voter and the wrath of the voters will be immense. The best part is, like the Democrats say, elections have consequences. Americans voted for DNC incompetence, now they can reap what they have sown.

    It is not now up to the GOP to bail out the liberals from themselves. There will be a time for that later, late next year when a GOP based plan will be unveiled. For now, the time is to let the Democrats destroy themselves from with. Just the the Soviets destroyed themselves from within.

    In the mean time, I'm sitting back and enjoying the show of Democratic party suicide.

    November 21, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  18. Dave

    Republicans are done. Harry Reid should have nuked them years ago.

    November 21, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  19. What Now

    Oh shock, the GOP spends all it's time doing everything to accomplish nothing of significance. Really, am I the only one who is sick to death of the fight against ACA? If the GOP would put just a fraction of their anti-Obama efforts into real work, just think what we could accomplish for our country. Now, it all just seems like I'm watching a class of first graders after the teacher left the room. Gee and we wonder why bullying is such a problem in our country.

    November 21, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  20. Quidestveritas

    You mean political parties draft memos on how to combat their opposition? What a bombshell revelation!

    November 21, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  21. BO

    Read it and weep CNN.

    November 21, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  22. zeb Minas

    @NCThinker (11:28 AM): if it's simply an issue of financing (and Republicans are arguing that it will too expensive) there are easier ways to do something about it - after all, Congress passes appropriations, yes? Republicans can simply refuse to appropriate funds for ACA beyond that "which could pay for itself". It still does not explain their virulent opposition to the law of the land. Unless of course they are scared that it might actually work?

    November 21, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  23. If I had a hammer... I'd whack you in the morning

    grow up republicans! The ONLY way to successfully destroy an idea is to improve upon it ... a playbook to destroy is not as powerful as a solution ...and never win! This is why you're in the bottom tree again this week!

    November 21, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  24. LocalVokal

    What IS the republican plan? Before you say something like "they have plenty of plans, try googling it!" let me ask a better question that requires some actual thought.....WHY AREN'T THEYPUSHING THOSE PLANS?? Now would be a great time to do it. Hmmm... could it be that those plans would be even less popular than the ACA? Regardless of the answer, they're not trying to sell their plans to the people. So, at the very least, they have nothing worth presenting. This would lead a rational person to believe that either they want things exactly the way they were before OR they don't want this to work because it wasn't their idea. Which is it?

    November 21, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  25. Deomcorats,Obama bad for America.

    Mark Adams

    Another tantrum from the crybaby party. It's ok, they'll be crying for 8 years under Obama, then another 8 years under HIllary! Republican tears taste so sweet.
    ---------------
    News flash, Democrats will cry when Republicans kep the house and take the Senate, then 2016 Christie will take the White Hpuse. Look on the Democrats face when this happens, Priceless

    November 21, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
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