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. Hamlet

    @Clarity6, the millions without healthcare can sign up for Obamacare. The solution is already here, voted on and passed without reading it.

    The Dems need to own that, including you!

    November 21, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    just saying

    demorcats attacking bush and his iraq war efforts was a very real act of sabotage on the part of democrats. republicans telling the truth to americans and warning them of an impending disaster sounds more like paul revere.
    Sabotage? You sound like Newt Gingrich. What trutths have the Republicans told Americans?

    – You didn't know what was in the bill, despite the fact that the content was debated for months on the floor of the Senate.
    – You didn't realize that the "death panel" was actually a panel of 24 people, who couldn't possibly make millions of decisions per day.
    – You forgot that Republicans were supposed to be for the individual mandate before they were suddenly against it.
    – You forgot all about this playbook that is the subject of this article, because it clearly outlines the conspiracy to lie and decieve.

    November 21, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  3. ConstAdvocate

    Since when have Dems/Libs been so concerned about paying others bills. Dem legislation has us paying the bills for over 50 million Americans, including housing, food, and cash handouts. Why do we need to take away the choices of Americans for their health care to provide Insurance (not Health Care) to less than 10% of the population?

    November 21, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  4. cog in the wheel

    Whatever the benefits or negatives of the ACA, I absolutely do wish the GOP would try and help improve healthcare coverage in the US. The endless negativity helps no one–but it has convinced some that the ACA is the end of civilization 🙂

    The ACA was the first positive step in addressing healthcare issues for the entire US population in, humm, 40 years. Let's work to improve it, not go backward.

    November 21, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  5. taswyn

    No matter how badly I feel the website rollout was fumbled, especially given the budget, this simply isn't true:

    ""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."

    An enterprise website rollout which will immediately have a nation-wide audience and immediately have loads on par with already popular and high volume sites, that involves connecting a number of disparate (often legacy) systems, with huge amounts of highly sensitive data... is supposed to be "easy?" Well, at least now we know that if the GOP had tried to do something similar, it never would have even gotten off the ground. Underestimating the nature and scope of the problem in creating a website of this nature is why it has had so many of the problems it has had.

    There are a lot of things that went wrong with the rollout. A number of them have experts on the sidelines shaking their heads, and rightfully so. There are questions of some of the choices in how it was contracted out, and how those have affected the rollout (particularly, anytime you try to divy a large project like this between multiple companies, you are actually increasing costs and chances of failure, even if it looks like it will be cheaper up front). There are questions regarding the hosting environment. But in the end, given the timeframe involved and the complicated connected infrastructure, it's amazing the site runs at all. Pretending it should have been "easy" is the height of conceit, and the trap that leads to these types of problems in the first place.

    November 21, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  6. Thomas

    Nobody has yet died , been blown up , nor become a refugee over the Affordable Healthcare Act .

    When you find those WMD's in Iraq and where all the money went call 1-800 TED-CRUZ .

    November 21, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  7. sickofit

    I wonder which page has the stuff about hacking the website.

    November 21, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  8. Jimh77

    All parties have to shut up for 5 days, get out of Washington and travel around the country to take a good look at what is happening in America right now. Then go back to Washington and FIX IT. If they are not willing to do so, then each failure to do so should equal immediate breach of contract with the American people that elected them and they are to be removed from office, hand over any and all personal stuff and report to North Korea. No pensions, no pay. Get out of America.

    November 21, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC


    They do not need a playbook the whole law just plain sucks!
    Sure they do. It's all about messaging to Republicans. They require that their intellectual police to write out exactly what they should say, and how they should say it. It's all supervised by the intellectual babysitters in the right wing media.

    November 21, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  10. ChuckChucklesAgain

    Look. liberals, we tried to help you out. We told you you were pipe dreaming, trying to take over 1/6 of the U.S. economy with 2,000 pages of regulations in a statute.

    We warned you it would never work. We told you big govt beaurocracy is inefficient and a loser every time. We told you, you 4 year olds, you were running with scissors and you were going to do yourselves in.

    You should have listened the first time.

    November 21, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  11. joe

    So, they're investing heavily in sabotage? How much did the right wing loonies spend on the last election, only to fail? Do they ever learn, or are they too busy being angry and hateful to even think of it?

    November 21, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    If ACA does not make insruance cheaper then fix it, abandoning it with no solution is not the answer. How can anyone be against healthcare, every last person with no insurance during an emergency will go to the hospital and the rest of us will end up picking up the bill. Why does the GOP want me to keep having to foot the bill for these people?

    November 21, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  13. randro

    Unfortunately, obamma has no playbook for obammacare. "I know nothing' not cutting it anymore. Cost already triple, can't keep insurance, doctor, hospital, not saving 2500 annually, not reducing the deficit......everything was a lie. And he knew it. That gets you kicked out of school, but adored as a 'president'?

    November 21, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  14. RettasVegas

    No surprise the GOP is attacking the ACA, what's new about this..?
    If they had worked this out with the Dems. instead of party politics over getting the ACA passed with more checks & blances that even the Dems. were willing to do, we would have had a better ACA in the 1st place, but rather than address issue's we all knew would need to be corrected, Obama had to punt and get the damn bill passed into law so that FINALLY 9 million or more American's without AFFORDABLE health care would have it.
    So now, ONCE AGAIN, the GOP hurt ALL American's knowing that they had forced Obama to pass a plan that would need BOTH parties working on it's short fall's so that it worked as ALL hoped it would.
    Again, and again,, the GOP let's the extreme's of their party try and discredit Obama, whille cutting thier noise's off to spite their face's, while ALL Amrican's get caught in their cross fire!! They need to get over being sore loser's and get to work for ALL American's, and stop pandering to the the right wings NUTS!!

    November 21, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  15. Dean

    This is the dumbest story I have ever read. Obamacare is dying on the vine. Obama's approval numbers are at 37% and Obama is lying about lying. Obama can not even trot out one person where Obamacare has worked.

    November 21, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  16. George

    the suggestions to fix things are either not voted on by prince reid or discarded by libs. Lets stick with what does not work by the libs, Greece here we come.

    November 21, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  17. dl

    How much do we pay these baffoons?

    November 21, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  18. J R Brown

    When people talk about "skyrocketing enrollment", they are actually referring to people signing up for MEDICAID...a fact they somehow fail to divulge. The ACA so far has done little besides get more moochers to sign up for medical health care coverage that someone else will pay, I can see why the Dems base of welfare zombies loves the ACA.

    November 21, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  19. Donna

    Malory Archer
    While those plans may have high deductibles and copays they also cover preventive and diagnostic services for free

    This post clearly illustrates the problem on the left and the disaster called Obamacare. There is NO SUCH THING AS FREE with regards to healthcare services. The person receiving the service is paying for it with the high deductibles and copays. OR the tax payers are paying for it with tax subsidises. BUT IT COSTS MONEY therefore somebody must pay for it.

    BTW, what do you think happens when people think something is "free"? They then go in a get it, most of the times without a good reason. What happens when millions of people get "free" tests that are not medically justified? Yes, costs got UP, because there is no such thing as "free".

    November 21, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  20. Chuckinthemiddlewithyou

    To be fair to both sides is soooooooooo simple. Every person in America who says he (she) supports ObamaCare should put his money where his mouth is by dropping his current insurance and signing up. If this doesn't happen, logic dictates it's a bad plan. Word slinging is useless and a waste of time. Action is needed. Supporters should either buy in, or admit hypocrisy. I personally haven't met one supporter willing to make the sacrifice.

    November 21, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  21. SW

    Typical – the reDUMBlican's have NO plan of their own, NO legislation pending for Health Care for Americans without insurance and NO brains. This is why, slowly but surely they and their TEA party idiot compatriots are slowly going extinct – good riddence.

    November 21, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  22. Andrew Nutra

    GOP: Why bring your party up, when you can just bring Obamcare down?

    November 21, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  23. Fire the GOP

    All the bad parts of Obamacare – including those inserted by the GOP in hopes of sabotaging the bill – should and will be legislated out.

    November 21, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  24. Andrew Nutra

    The Obamacare website will be fixed way before the GOP Civil War is over.

    November 21, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  25. Silence DoGood

    @CALiberal "The republicans health care plan is "I got mine ,good luck with yours sucker.""
    Wow – I think you just discovered the Grand Obstruction Plan (GOP), not just about destroying ACA!

    November 21, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
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