CNN obtains GOP playbook to target Obamacare
November 21st, 2013
09:35 AM ET
4 years 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. 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. Grichard

    Is this playbook even for real? It sounds like the dirty work of the left to publish this "Memo". Even if it is real, so what, ACA never should have been passed into law.

    November 21, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  2. Tom

    This playbook is obvious a fraudulent document. CNN is just gullible enough to post it. If you like this news channel, you can keep it.

    November 21, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Tom E

    Why don't you guy's ever publish the Dem's playbook? I forgot, that's your policy and procedure manual.
    Simple. Democrats do not indulge in such ignorance.

    November 21, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  4. Pam from Iowa

    So, now we know! The GOP cannot function without a "playbook" to tell them what to say, how to say it....etc.

    November 21, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  5. Repeal_Obamacare

    " there’s not a single word devoted to helping constituents enroll "

    Why would they, when Obama and democrats rammed this through congress against the recommendations of Republicans. Democrats were unable to convince even one Republican to vote for the plan.

    November 21, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. Donna

    The failures of Obamacare squarely sit on the shoulders of the GOP. If Republicans had been supportive of providing Americans with better health insurance options from the beginning, things would have gone much smoother.

    The post above has to be a joke/sarcasm post. Nobody could possibly be this braindead or have a koolaide level that high.

    November 21, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  7. Jim8

    It should be, "That $4000 deductible and $6300 cap will ruin us all" because THAT is the problem.

    November 21, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. unknown11

    It looks like CNN now want to prop the president back up. The Obamacare stories are now further down the page, and don't mention any problems at all. They are starting to write distraction pieces like this. They are moving toward blaming the gross failures of Obamacare on some "secret republican plot", when the reality is that it was never a secret that repubs were against this law, and that it was 100% written by the dems. Remember that "elections have consequences" stuff when the republicans wanted some kind of input to this debacle?

    November 21, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  9. Patrick Jenkins

    If you want to make health care affordable, ban high fructose corn syrup from the American diet. Studies have shown that this is the largest contributor to Type 2 diabetes. As an R.NCS.T, I tested thousands of Americans over the last 12 years for neuropathy and found that the costs associated with treating this disease is the main contributor to increased insurance premiums.

    November 21, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  10. mkuske

    So has CNN obtained the playbook of the Dems that includes knowingly lying about Obamacare to get it passed; or continuing to lie to get re-elected; or refusing to delay implementation when requested to do so during budget negotiations but then when you've won the day, a sizable number of your own side immediately turn around and and demand that same delay; or to delay the parts of the law that will hurt you until after the next election cycle; or to....

    CNN acts like both sides don't have a playbook, that it's only those mean old Republicans who do. A bit biased wouldn't you say?

    November 21, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  11. ChuckChucklesAgain

    The GOP has no reason to sabotage the ACA....or any thing else this administration does.

    This is the Keystone Cops administration.... they screw themselves up completely every time.
    Only this time in the ACA, they are damaging millions and millions of voters personally.

    And the wrath of the voters against the DNC will be immense. Like Obama and the DNC talking points said for years..... ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES..... Americans voted for incompetency, let them get what they asked for.

    When they are sick of it in 2016, there will be big changes. And you don't have to wait till 2016.... the DNC is going to be slaughted by their own doings in 2014.

    I just gotta sit back, get popcorn and enjoy the show !!

    November 21, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  12. rare_earth

    Partisan politics.
    America's demise.
    I wish anyone who actually 'takes sides' in these juvenile attacks could actually see themselves in action.
    See, I refuse to endorse either side.
    Therefore, giving me clarity into the mass hysteria, bickering and juvenile rants against one another.
    Comical, and senseless. And, I might add, disparaging.

    November 21, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  13. Bob

    Contrary to what the administration works so hard for their supporters to believe, the GOP DOES want an improved healthcare system. Who wouldn't? They just knew the ACA was not the answer for the country. Do they have all the answers, no. But does that mean we go ahead with something that doesn't work? No. That's stupid reasoning to think the ACA is the solution because there isn't another one proposed yet. The administration's newest strategy, supported by the media, is to go at the GOP with, "So do you have a better solution?" and some of the American people are buying into the strategy. It, once again, focuses the attention off the problem at hand and puts it where it's non-constructive to the overall problem. Obama and his team have become masters at this type of political manuevering. It's a shame that some of you folks fall for it every time it happens. Start demanding more from your leaders who put this law in place and hold them accountable for their promises to you!

    November 21, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC


    "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.
    The difference is as wide as apples and oranges.
    Socialism describes an economic system.
    Communism describes a political system.

    November 21, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  15. Peter

    Obamacare is far from perfect, but before Obamacare the Republicans did not feel the need for ANY kind of health care reform.

    Now, they are saying "of course the system needs reform, just not Obamacare". They never said anything about reform until Obamacare! They said NOTHING about health care reform for years until this law.

    November 21, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  16. Ryan

    I can just about guarantee that there is Dem "playbook" with talking points, such as, "if you like your insurance you have now you can keep it". Every business and organization has play books (i.e. protocols, technical memorandums)...this silly aticle could have just said the GOP has a playbook about Obamacare, just like many other play books they have, in an effort to coordinate and organize it's representatives and constituents...that would be too unbiased though!

    November 21, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  17. Jim8

    Ok, Republicans, here you go:
    I lost MY health care because of Obamacare," But what I really lost was retiree health insurance that my employer told me they could always cancel.

    They justified it by saying we can now purchase a policy on the exchange, but, at 63, and not qualifying for a subsidy, and figuring in the $4000 deductible, and the $500 monthly cost, I cannot possibly do anything but go broke if I need to use it.

    November 21, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  18. Tom

    The GOP is the scum of the doubts about it.....they are rooting for failure and trying to undermine it as much as possible hoping to gain political advantage at the cost of the American people. You all have to understand, that failure of the ACA is NOT an option since it will ruin all our lives tenfold, by MUCH higher rates to make up for the money insurers lost, but even more so, there will be TWICE as many uninsured people now if the ACA is sabotaged and repealed.....and that my friends would collapse the system, and the GOP knows it and wants to use that to their advantage at your cost. That $150B a year we were paying to cover uninsured people's medical bills will double now if the GOP gets their if you believe what the GOP says now about costing to much.....that will DOUBLE if the GOP has their way with the ACA. VERY STERN WARNINGS PEOPLE .........this cannot fail !!!!

    November 21, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  19. sickofit

    OK...So they have a playbook....Don't the DEMS have one......the ONLY difference is the GOP's playbook DOES NOT LIE. period....

    LOL – The GOP's playbook is 18 pages of lies and distortions.

    November 21, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  20. TXMAN

    Remember the old days when CNN used to have investigative reports that used to cover every administration, not just Republicans. I would be more impressed if CNN had the Democratic playbook in 2010, where it knew ACA was going to cause 50 to 100 million people to lose their policies.

    November 21, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  21. Michael

    @Bubba Ray:

    Torte Reform, allowing sale across state lines, portable care when you move jobs, more competition among providers etc. All GOP ideas that were never heard because they were on the outside of the room when Obamacare was being put together. Perhaps had they had a chance to participate we'd have a different situation.

    November 21, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  22. sickofit

    It looks like CNN now want to prop the president back up.

    As soon as a news agency reports anything than the GOP Faux News talking points, they are propping the president up. Maybe they are just reporting the news.

    November 21, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  23. ChuckChucklesAgain

    I'll enjoy watching Pelosi double down on her own party's suicide !!

    That's right Nancy, double down !! LOL!!

    What did their Bubba say? "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results."

    Good luck Dems.! .... I got my popcorn ready, you're putting on a really good death/suicide show right now !!

    November 21, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  24. Tell the Truth

    But even if it's true......WELL DONE Republicans. Your battle against the Obamacare abomination is really effective. Thank you. You're working for the 75% of Americans don't want it.

    November 21, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  25. clarity6

    Once again, the party of no sabotages anything it has to do with this administration but offers no solutions. What about the millions of people without insurance today?

    November 21, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
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