CNN obtains GOP playbook to target Obamacare
November 21st, 2013
09:35 AM ET
1 year 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. Rick McDaniel

    When the Dem socialists pass a plan, by paying off their own party members, in the Congress, to vote for it.........you have the epitome of corruption........and the people of America are going to pay a high price for that corruption.

    Be reminded, that not a single Republican voted for this monstrosity of a health care plan.........because it IS a monstrosity.

    November 21, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  2. Charles

    The GOP doesn't need a playbook. President Obama and numerous Democrats looked the American people in the eye and blatantly lied just to get reelected. Elections are coming within a year, and we will not forget.

    November 21, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  3. Boo

    All these Republicans do is whine and complain. Heaven forbid they should offer an alternative. Who in their right mind votes for these parasites?

    November 21, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  4. rla

    Obama care had 5 years to be set to work and is such a progressive muddle it is the butt of late night jokes– GOP should just laugh along with the rest of the nation and yes the American people want it GONE not fixed!

    November 21, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  5. America knows better

    I smell a big fat LIE CNN. All the corruption and scandals of Nero and his regime are catching up to him, so in typical historical tyrannical fashion, the liberal media are pulling out all stops and doing all they can to discredit the other side. All one has to do is watch just an hour of MSNBC to witness the shameless lies and outright slanderous attacks and the complete lack of limits or morals of those in the media.

    Why should we expect any different from CNN, especially since it just coincidentally pulls this "document" out of thin air at the very same time as all the other attacks going on. Nope, not buying it. Time for progressives to go, the anti-gun brits to go back home, and the sodomites to get back in the closet. GET OUT OF MY COUNTRY!

    November 21, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  6. JL

    Nice to know Republicans will stop at nothing to hurt people and ruin lives for no apparent reason.

    November 21, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  7. Biff

    The Republicans have made suggestions on how to fix healthcare. They tried to push the mandate back another year because they knew that it wasn't ready. Right now, no one has to do anything to make Obamacare fail. It's collapsing on its own because it is a horribly written law created by a bunch of hacks. This law hasn't even hit rock bottom yet. Dems can point the finger all they want but they own this mess. They have no one else to blame/thank but themsleves. But as always, they point the finger at anyone they can. They are a party of denying responsibilty. I was shocked when Obama came out and actually took the blame on "fumbling". Then he came out the next day and started blaming the GOP again. Barack Hussein Obama will go down as the worst and most unaccomplished President of all time. I'm sure some of you are still trying to find a way to pin this on Bush. God Bless America. We desperately need it.

    November 21, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  8. America knows better

    I smell a big fat LIE CNN. All the corruption and scandals of Nero and his regime are catching up to him, so in typical historical tyrannical fashion, the liberal media are pulling out all stops and doing all they can to discredit the other side. All one has to do is watch just an hour of MSNBC to witness the shameless lies and outright slanderous attacks and the complete lack of limits or morals of those in the media. Time for progressives to go.

    November 21, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  9. Tim

    Well, it certainly is full of stuff that seems to be true. Now, for all those democratically aligned who state things such as, "The Republicans only stand in the way and they do not create anything." or "Republicans are racist and have no hearts and want to destroy the world (they live in) because they are so stupid and mean. That's in the other sides playbook. I like facts. Fact...both sides use play books. Now, good reporting, in my mind, would work to get us the Democratic playbook as well in order that we could make a sound decision on strategies and which is based on fact or fiction. Don;t expect to see that happen. This is a fluff piece pushing and agenda...not the news.

    November 21, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    -A True Conservative

    Why don't you publish the Democrat playbook on how they are going to make Obamacare a success? Oh, yea, they don't have one.....that would require leadership, management skill and a plan.......
    ***************
    Why not publish a detailed description of the GOP alternatives to Obamacare? Oh, that's right, they don't exist, just the stated goal of " repeal and replace"-wait, they don't have the "replace" part down, and they won't have it down because its not a priority to them. It was not a priority when they controlled Congress for 12 years, so why assume it will ever be a priority?

    November 21, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  11. Dawn

    This headline is stupid, it is a talking points memo. The democrats have to own this one.. sorry..

    November 21, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  12. Anonymous

    So they intended to state what is true.Obama should have used that idea.

    November 21, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  13. SeanZ

    CNN .... Chris Cuomo, Candy Crowley, Anderson Cooper..... Pro- Obama, Liberal...... CNN is the Obama Network..... almost like MSNBC, they just pretend to be the Non–Biased Cable news.

    November 21, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  14. radar8

    The GOP has no plan. They hope to make themselves look better by making the other guys look worse. No plan. The GOP likes they way things were going uner Bush. Corporations getting richer and able to give the politicians more money to get re-elected. Poor people working for slave wages. The GOP loves it. They don't care if you have healthcare. They already have it. The heck with you.

    November 21, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  15. tony

    Civilized Free Country Single Payer Heath System charges on single or joint income of all individuals, couples or families, aged up to 65. No charge for payer age over 65.

    $0 if income is under $1000/mo. 12% pro rata of next $4000/mo. Drops to 2% on income of over $5000/mo. No co-pays or other charges for medical care, doctor or hospitals, short or long term, or elder care. So if you make:

    $2000/mo, that’s $120/mo for all med cover
    $3000/mo, that’s $240/mo for all med cover
    $4000/mo, that’s $360/mo for all med cover
    $5000/mo, that’s $480/mo for all med cover

    Charges are so low (1) because everyone is included and (2) drug, equipment and service providers have to compete to supply the single payer system at bulk rates.

    Full, timely medical cover, (far higher longevity, survival, general health and satisfaction rate than the US) on everything except for cosmetic surgery. Elective procedures have lower time priority. Private Insurance (extra) available for deluxe private hospital stays, private specialist/celebrity doctors, etc.

    No completely unnecessary "forced-in middle-men" medical insurance companies to skim profits from every transaction.

    November 21, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  16. Stanton Allaben

    I lived without health insurance for over 40 years. If I got sick or had an accident, I paid for it myself. I ate right, exercised, and took good care of myself. Now I have Medicare and a supplement policy, and saved thousands of dollars over the years. Healthy people who pay for health insurance are just paying for the people who don't take care of themselves. It's all BS.

    November 21, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  17. The Real Tom Paine

    -Biff

    The Republicans have made suggestions on how to fix healthcare. They tried to push the mandate back another year because they knew that it wasn't ready. Right now, no one has to do anything to make Obamacare fail. It's collapsing on its own because it is a horribly written law created by a bunch of hacks. This law hasn't even hit rock bottom yet. Dems can point the finger all they want but they own this mess. They have no one else to blame/thank but themsleves. But as always, they point the finger at anyone they can. They are a party of denying responsibilty. I was shocked when Obama came out and actually took the blame on "fumbling". Then he came out the next day and started blaming the GOP again. Barack Hussein Obama will go down as the worst and most unaccomplished President of all time. I'm sure some of you are still trying to find a way to pin this on Bush. God Bless America. We desperately need it.
    ***************
    Geez Biff, what are they? Where are the alternatives to the ACA of which you speak? As far as assuming blame, I don't ever recall anyone in the GOP saying they should have tackled the problem when they were in the majority. It was never on their radar, but privatising Social Security certainly was. Always trust the Right to defend the right to deny people access to something in the name of Freedom.

    November 21, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  18. Steve

    This article is written like the Democrats have no playbook. They do and it is just the opposite of the GOP. This is politics, always has been, always will be. Nothing new here. It is always the other side's fault, never theirs. On ACA, the GOP does not have to control the narrative, it is doing just fine on it's own. An explosion just has to be started, it will finish by itself and the GOP did not even have to light the fuse.

    November 21, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  19. Data Driven

    @America knows better,

    "I smell a big fat LIE CNN. All the corruption and scandals of Nero and his regime are catching up to him, so in typical historical tyrannical fashion, the liberal media are pulling out all stops and doing all they can to discredit the other side."

    Big fat LIE about what? The fact that there's a 17-page pdf written by Republicans? If CNN is behaving in a "historical tyrannical fashion", whatever that means, then why did they provide a link to the pdf in the article? Far from discrediting the other side, CNN is obviously a mouthpiece for it.

    Or did you even read the article, and just had your comment saved in your Copy file in order to post on any Obamacare-related story, regardless of context? Hmm?

    November 21, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  20. SeeThruIt2

    It's not rooting for failure to recognize when a plan is flawed and needs to be re-written. It's not rooting for failure when you're ordered to go on a suicide mission and you object.

    November 21, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  21. gues

    Try as you might to demonize the GOP, CNN, I'm scratching my head to see what is controversial about this. What about this playbook is untrue or illegitimate?

    November 21, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  22. jrm03063

    ACA has been almost a hundred years in the making (literally). It's a big program and it's going to be hard – but complaining about ACA is like fussing about seating on the Titanic's life boats. The alternative is certainly unsustainable and known to kill about 45,000 Americans needlessly every year. Don't like it? GET REAL – and face the problem – but don't expect points for complaining that it's cold in the North Atlantic at Night....

    November 21, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  23. Bill from GA

    Goodt work, CNN. Captn' Ted would be proud, for a change.

    Maybe a followup with how much of the playbook is accurate.

    We all have our preconceived notions based on our political leanings, and will accept your findings, or not, based on our political leanings. But a 'Truth-Check' would still be nice to see.

    November 21, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  24. Alan Whitenton

    You don't need a playbook to point out the failure of Obamacare in which anyone with half a brain already knows.

    November 21, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  25. JLM

    The GOP does not have a plan for America except to help the Koch Brothers destroy the middle class. GOP doesn't care about your health, your finances, or your ability to earn a sustainable wage. The ACA can make a difference for all Americans which is why it use to be part of the Republican goals. Now the GOP is unAmerican.

    November 21, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
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