CNN obtains GOP playbook to target Obamacare
November 21st, 2013
09:35 AM ET
5 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. Truth2012

    Lot of supporters of the DO Nothing GOP Congress... Traitors who have spent 5 years destroying a hope for the Future and doing nothing but hurting the American People...

    November 21, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  2. Realityblowz

    They don't need a playbook. The Dems. have successfully thrown the game. ACA, Benghazi, NSA spying, U.S. troops staying in Afghanistan till 2024 etc etc. The game is already over, and the coin toss has not been thrown yet. Nice job.

    November 21, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  3. Solutions

    OK, what ever happened to "I don't want to hear about the problems, only solutions"? What other solutions has the GOP proposed other than defeating the Affordable Care Act? The bill passed, it was signed into law and GOP members are still sour that it didn't go their way. If the opposition would take even half the effort to fix what they perceive as wrong, If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. When Obama was elected, before he even took the oath of office, GOP members adopted the strategy to make sure anything he proposed was either obstructed or defeated. To date, the GOP has succeeded on their obstructionism promise.

    November 21, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  4. Peter

    Obamacare doesn't need to have a Republican "playbook". It stands by itself as a total failure and we're only in the beginning stages of it. Just wait. We haven't seen anything yet.

    November 21, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  5. current state of the union

    So America got suckerd, could you please tell me why the Koch brothets spent a hundred million or more to fight obamacare, for you? Seriously can't believe they want to help you, there's a sucker for you!

    November 21, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  6. Dan

    If you all are buying into our current political climate; you are being fooled. All of these "scandals," the rhetoric, and venom is there to distract you; they are appealing to the under informed masses who have no idea how politics and government work. We are creating enemies out of each other just because of what party you vote for. They are not even that much different; it you actually think so, you need to read more; not listen. Research, read things you do not agree with; don't just listen to what you want to hear. Everyone is appealing to your anger; they are taking advantage of you. Please, don't screw up this country because you are mad/dumb.

    November 21, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  7. sadlyperturbed

    "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.

    This is the reality of the GOP. They prove over and over they are not for Americans, but only for defeating the opposition. There is no intention of actually working to find healthcare for the millions of Americans who need it and cannot either a) afford it or b) get it due to previous medical conditions. The system they like was broken for decades, but they still cling to it like it worked well. Just like they cling to the "Trickle Down" theory which is another proven failure.

    November 21, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  8. Stating the Obvious

    Who needs a playbook when the Obamacare law, if implemented as passed and signed into law by Obama and all of his Democrats, is a disaster at every step of the way? I absolutely believe that the Republicans should be focusing on demanding that every single aspect of Obamacare be implemented per the law they didn't read before passing. They should also be passing laws to revoke any and all special exeptions from the law that Obama has granted to his political supporters, like the unions.

    It is IMPERATIVE that the American people see, witness, feel the pain from the lies and deceit of the Democrat Party and Obama BEFORE the 2014 election. They were able to conceal their lies and deception to get Obama re-elected in 2012. That CANNOT be alllowed to happen in 2014 & 2016 for the Democrats.

    Nancy Pelosi states that the Democrats intend to campaign on Obamacare in the coming elections. GOOD! That will help as well because all she has is more lies and deceit. The American people are fed up with all of the Democrat lies. Time to throw these lying scum out of office and get rid of Obamacare.

    November 21, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  9. Willie K.

    So if I go to and try to order a Sony TV, and the website is down temporarily, that means that all Sony TV's are defective. Right? This is the logic behind the Republican assault. They are so concerned that Obamacare will succeed that they will say or do anything to kill the baby before it is allowed to grow into a productive citizen.

    November 21, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  10. Voice of Reason

    CNN joining in on blaming republicans for the Obamacare mess.

    The only way to protect Americans from Obamacare increased healthcare costs, a reduction of the quality of healthcare, the right to choose a healthcare provider, privacy rights, freedom and liberty from the police state raised by Obamacare, is to see to it that Obamacare fails.

    Republicans will have to come up with an alternative solution to reduce healthcare costs, not necessarily replace Obamacare.

    November 21, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  11. Hector Slagg

    Well, Excuse me,
    Some of you, (Many of you) are continuing ask, WHAT IS THE REPUBLICIAN PLAN

    November 21, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  12. John Keimig

    Reading this thread is very enlightening and also rather disturbing. For years now it has been clear that a "certain element" has been leading a frontal assault on the Affordable Care Act. Dozens of votes to repeal it and now many suggestions of how to fix it (outside of the much-publicized delay it for a year that was offered before the web issues were discovered and was at the time a blatant attempt to half-kill it.
    My dad taught me that before I would complain about something I should think it through and have a better alternative to propose. To his credit he listened to me when I did so and actually modified some of his opinions and rules along the way. He also used that to drive me to accept the others where I could not come up with a better alternative.
    The republican party desperately needs a dose if my Dad's medicine. Want a better web site? Organize a nationwide beta test by issuing a few million people mock credentials, and stage weekly "flush tests" until the system no longer clogs up. Want a better transition that enables people to keep their current plans? Figure out another way to close the funding gap created by removal of the Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion. Don't like the Individual Mandate? Propose an alternative that adequately funds a health care system that provides coverage tor all who need it.
    C'mon Republicans, Grow Up!

    November 21, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  13. Common Sense

    you dont need a playbook. Just get reporters to report on it unbiased with the truth of the disaster it is and the rest will take care of itself during the next elections!

    November 21, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  14. TimmyG

    For all of those against the ACA, I wonder how many of you plan to draw Social Security checks? Do any of you plan to use Medicare when you turn 65?? If you are against the ACA, then maybe you should consider returning your Social Security and Medicare checks. All of these plans are designed to help Americans when they need help, but Washington turns them into political theater in order to win to their elections and person paychecks. Think about it !!

    November 21, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  15. termlimits

    Socialism is a philosophy of failure, ignorance and envy. Its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery! Churchill

    November 21, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  16. Anonymous

    Actually, the Republicans were frozen out from contributing to the healthcare program and their input totally stonewalled so now they are expected to FIX the dems disaster? Time to scrap this piece of crap and start over only this time allow everyone to participate.

    November 21, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  17. Data Driven

    "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."

    .... uh, yeah, the Pro-Obama, Liberal network that provides links to the GOP Playbook.

    Can CNN make a rule that commenters have to somehow PROVE they read the article they're commenting on?

    November 21, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  18. Matt

    When the GOP comes up with a viable alternative plan like they promised, "repeal and replace" then I could possibly get on board. But until then I will not support sabotage and failure, that is totally unAmerican.

    November 21, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  19. coloradom

    So because it's law, that means we all should support it? Republicans targeting the ACA is like the Democrats targeting gun rights. Both are trying to change the law. Nothing wrong (on either side) with fighting for what you believe, but hopefully freedom in both instances will prevail.

    November 21, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  20. Shocked

    Maybe if they had some votes by the GOP for the law on a bipartisan level they would then have an interest in trying to save part of it. But as the case is, no republicans voted for this "bipartisan" monstrosity so why on earth would they want to save any part of it when it is nothing but trouble and bad law all around?

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

    Shocking... CNN tries to deflect attention from the complete failure of ObamaScare. Don't remember CNN ever publishing a Dumbocrat playbook. Forever carrying water for thier anointed one. No wonder CNNs ratings are lower than whale barf. CNN and PMSNBC, the Obama terwking networks.

    November 21, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  22. America, our country is bankrupt...cut the spending

    These are talking points....just like the Democrats have talking points, when they all get on different news, radio, and TV and say the same things.

    November 21, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  23. Smoke and Mirrors

    The GOP need to worry more about their 24 billion dollar a week shut downs and less on a faulty website. Oh wait, the American public is stupid enough to forget about bad.

    November 21, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  24. Hector Slagg

    Some of you (Many of you) are asking what is the Republican Plan? Tell me, what do you do if you are driving down the road and you get a flat tire? Do you get out the jack, jack up the car and change the tire or do you have no idea what to do? For the record, you had better learn to change a tire because no Liberal has a plan. Obama Care is the Liberal Plan. That plan is you burn down the house and then you build the new house, if you can get somebody else to pay for it. Smart Plan.

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

    Peter, you are the perfect target audience for the playbook. It was designed with you in mind.

    November 21, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
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