CNN obtains GOP playbook to target Obamacare
November 21st, 2013
09:35 AM ET
8 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. El Warbo Grande

    "GOP's 35 page playbook of partisan attacks on ACA is 35 pages longer than their health care plan."

    At least they didn't waste 2500 pages making the health care system worse.

    November 21, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  2. Joe

    Awesome! At least the GOP and other smart people are united in opposition to the worst legislation in this country's history. And why would you help people to sign up for something as dastardly as Obamacare?

    November 21, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  3. PuzzledInPeoria

    And Republicans don't have the self-awareness to be embarrassed at this exposure of their orchestrated sabotage.

    Funny that I can't remember such a stink over Medicare. Of course, partisan politics wasn't as bad then. If everyone agrees that the medical care system is broken, then why can't they agree that it needs to be fixed?

    Republicans, who are in the pocket of the insurance industry, prefer the status quo. Since when is broken a solution?

    November 21, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  4. oscar

    Where's the Republican Playbook on improving healthcare in America? There isn't one? Oh.

    It's easy to attack someone else's solution to a grave problem if you aren't expected to have your own solution.

    November 21, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  5. Warren

    And this one. "At the time that (Medicare Part D) was passed (it) was actually less popular than the Affordable Care Act, according to the polls."

    November 21, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  6. Kevin

    "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.
    -
    This is completely true.

    November 21, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  7. srcactus

    Big Deal?
    Where is the play book that shows the secrets hidden in the law, discussions to pass the law and to be sprung on working Americans as time goes by? The secrets of the Obama administration

    November 21, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  8. LALLEN

    CNN...really? Are you going to keep administering CPR to this disasterous legislation? I remember the days when you reported the news, but this article is just full of jabs at the Republican party, disguised as news.

    November 21, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  9. parshman

    This "Playbook" is laying out fact. It is not flattering because the law itself is not sustainable, has not been universally accepted, and has been plagued with half-truths spouted from the podium, a failed $200 million website that to date has between 25-30% to still be written, and an arrogance from the left to any of the millions of American's suggestions brought by Republican representatives. Americans do not want the government to get it hands on health care because they simply do not have the resume for the job. Every program...EVERY program that is government run is either bankrupt many times over or operating from a severe $17 trillion deficit. I am glad Republicans are taking action. Shame on you, CNN, for attempting yet again to demonize the opinions of millions of Americans represented by Republicans. We do not want more government mismanagement and corruption. We want to take responsibility for our own futures. We believe in both positive and negative consequences for life choices, not in supporting those who can, but choose not to contribute.

    November 21, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  10. Boomer in Mo

    The White House could not manage a setting hen. But the GOP obviously does not want Americans to have access to affordable healthcare and health insurance. Which is worse?

    November 21, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  11. BLE7481

    It is the job of legislators to support laws they agree with, and oppose those they don't. Nothing surprising here.

    Now, about that WH memo telling staffers how to say nice things about Valerie Jarrett ...

    November 21, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  12. wendel

    well of course the repos don't want health care. Why should they help the American people with anything. ??? No marriage equality no immigration reform no woman's choice. Everything they do is geared to screw the majority. Oh lets not for get background checks. They have a duck dynesty mentality like most of their members. The president has been saying they are trying to undermind health care . This is just some of the proof. Look at the Koch brothers and what they are doing behind the scenes.

    November 21, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  13. sam

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

    And the way things are going it will be 18 pages longer than the health care plans of more than 5 million Americans who today have health care. They have less than 4 weeks to cover the 5 million policies that end on January 1st.

    November 21, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  14. Cookie girl

    CNN: it is obvious that you are working on behalf of Obama to deflect blame for the Obamacare fiasco . Obamacare is owned lock, stock and barrel be the democrats, and those who disagree with this atrocious legislation have every RIGHT to organize their opposition!

    November 21, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  15. Ron L

    By the time 6 months have passed there will probably be 20 people who have benefited from the ACA in one way or another for every 1 person that had to pay more to get coverage. If I were a Democrat, I WOULD WELCOME THAT SITUATION. There is ONE FLAW in the Republican position...they are not offering anything comparable or better.

    November 21, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  16. kiki

    What is the GOP alternative. They need to offer the american people a plan instead of saying know to everything the president proposes. They don't have one because obamacare was originally their plan. On a final note, 2014 is around the corner.

    November 21, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  17. Taffy Op

    The democrats continue to support this law? And what do they say about the doubled or tripled rates for those who purchase their insurance? What do they about the millions of people who have coverage but whose policies are being cancelled due to expensive mandates for all such as:

    All males and females even those beyond reproductive years must carry: Maternity coverage and Newborn coverage. (Clearly the drafters of this law failed biology.)
    Everyone, including childless people and those with grown children must carry Pediatric care, Pediatric Dental and Pediatric Vision coverage.
    Everyone must have Prescription Drug coverage.
    Everyone must have Mental Illness coverage and Substance Abuse treatment coverage.

    November 21, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  18. Sniffit

    Anecdotes =/= data. But hey, you know, when that's all ya got...

    November 21, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  19. Mark

    Hey Nancy, did you read the bill yet?

    November 21, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  20. Ctrygrl

    White House spokesman Eric Schultz said the GOP's "18 page playbook of partisan attacks is 18 pages longer than their health care plan." This pretty much says it all except there are some plans offered by individual congressmen floating around. One I read of course repeals Obamacare first thing then "sets up computer insurance exchanges in the states", offers "tax credits for insurance purchase for working poor" no definition of poor. Give insurance companies the right to operate across state lines with no regard to any laws but those in their state of origin. Forbids government from using research or outcome based data to determine the efficacy of treatment. Forces government to pay whatever a hospital or doctors charge for whatever treatment they give. Not one word about preexisting conditions, not one word about expanding coverage, not one word about minimum insurance standards. Welcome to republican health care designed to benefit the insurance companies and no one else.

    November 21, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  21. kim

    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

    It's the GOP, expect nothing less..........

    November 21, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  22. Lorraine Keeley

    What are the Republicans going to do? What are their plans for a health care system? NONE!

    November 21, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  23. parshman

    When facing the government shut down, President Obama said he would not negotiate under the threat. Now that it is over, how many times has this President called Republicans, the representatives of millions of Americans, to the table to hear from the people? Harry Reid is busy stamping every house proposal "DOA" in the Senate, and while the law and it's consequences continues to unravel, this administration that said it would be the most transparent in history, turns a deaf ear to millions of Americans. This is precisely why Americans do not trust the government for health care. We, I do not trust them. Period. Current news underscores why.

    November 21, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  24. LH Thompson

    Mr. Cruz and the GOP. No alternatives and no help in getting healthcare to all Americans. We, the only country in
    the 1st world club without healthcare. We should be following the example of the Swiss and many other european
    countries: Instead of humanitarianism as the basis for dealing with the those in need-egalitarianism should be our guiding
    principal. 400 people in this country have a combined wealth equal to 150 million of us. That is not democracy. That is
    self interest gone mad. We are and we will pay for this way of doing things: Poverty, sickness, higher taxes and violence.

    November 21, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  25. Mymy

    I suspect that when all the dust settles in a couple of years, we will find that republican forces set out to sabotage this who thing. It will not surprise me to find out that they teamed up with insurance companies and website designers to have try and disrupt evertying.

    November 21, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
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