October 19th, 2009
11:41 AM ET
13 years ago

Health care critic advises 'divide and conquer' strategy

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A prominent foe of health care reform sent a memo to allied groups last week urging greater coordination in the health care message wars as Democrats work to hammer out a final bill.

In the memo obtained by CNN, Conservatives for Patients Rights leader Rick Scott wrote that the health care bills now emerging from the House and Senate will be "target rich environments" – but he implored reform opponents to synchronize their strategies before attacking.

"Our opponents, government-run health care advocates, would love nothing more than having all of us shooting randomly in several different directions delivering only 'glancing blows' on several different aspects of each plan rather than coordinating and targeting our efforts to deliver a decisive 'knock out' punch to each," Scott wrote.

The memo is addressed to "Conservative Leaders and Free Market Health Care Allies." Groups that have been involved in different aspects of health care reform opposition effort include Americans for Prosperity, the Tea Party Patriots, the National Taxpayers Union, the Heritage Foundation and the National Center for Policy Analysis.

Scott said his organization, CPR, plans to remain focused on defeating the so-called "public option." He suggested to the other groups that they each choose to train their fire on "a single specific facet of each plan," such as individual and employer mandates, "massive tax increases" or "deep cuts in Medicare."

The goal, he said, is to develop a "divide and conquer" strategy.

"We would be educating our fellow Americans with a clear and concise message on each facet while forcing our opponents back on their heels trying to defend our individual sharply focused attacks from multiple angles on multiple issues," he wrote.

Scott also applauded the groups for their work so far: "It's now approaching Halloween, and nothing has passed either house of Congress," he wrote.

Filed under: Health care
soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. Pel

    This Rick Scott guy is unreal. Here you have a person with a medical felon on his record for starving patients of the medical treatment they needed and was entitled. This man was fined an unheard of amount of money for his malfeasance. Now look at him. He is the Rush Lim/ Fox News for the insurance companies. He and the insurance companies will not win this fight. Public Option will be in the final health care bill that the president will sign before the year is out. Once this happen, the right wingers will really be on the decline. You will be looking at another 30-50yrs of rule by the democratic party. Go Demos!

    October 19, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  2. Mario, KS

    How can you claim that you are sincere about solving the health care issue in this country, when your not even engaged in an honest debate. Lets kill the plan, all of them, at any cost? How will this bring about the type of reform that is necessary to solving this issue?


    It's like an angry health care mob with pitch-forks of ignorance.

    October 19, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  3. Vicky Bevis

    Once again: How can intelligent educated poeple not see that put, very simply, only the VERY rich can be assured of health care in this country? Without universal health care, our country is doomed into "sliding" into a 2nd rate poiwer.

    We have always spoken for the "Universal Good" as a neccessary part of our country-roads, police, fire, free public schools, etc. How does health care, which affects everyone of us everntually, not qualify?

    I never thought I'd say this, but I wish now that my husband & grown children lived in Australia where my family is from originally. Believe me, they have good, timely health care & can relax & enjoy their retirement without worrying about bankruptcy. It works there. And their stand of living is BETTER than ours. I KNOW!

    October 19, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |

    are these corporate lobbyist looking out for ordinary americans or they looking out for their deep pockets?!

    October 19, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  5. billy123

    This is how they did in 1992 and look how much higher our health insurance has gone up since 1992.

    October 19, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  6. Daniel

    I don't blame the insurance lobby for opposing the public option. After all, they're just trying to protect their livelihood, riddled with greed though it may be.

    What I'm opposed to is republican legislators spoon feeding lies and fear to their base who would actually benefit greatly from healthcare reform. It's sad that they throw around misleading terms like socialism to scare their constituents into opposing what is in their best interest.

    And for those of you who believe that this is a purely capitalist country, you're living in a dream world. There hasn't been pure laissez-faire capitalism in America in over a century. Our system is a mixture of capitalism and socialism and has been for longer than any of us were alive. And rightly so as neither system works well on its own.

    October 19, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  7. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, North Carolina

    A "strategy" to defeat this Federal power-grab is unnecessary–the Dems themselves will kill it.

    Between "progressives" (i.e., "socialists") on the far left screaming they won't support a bill that doesn't hand free medical care to the welfare bums, and sensible Dems who understand that just printing more money is a far,far, worse disaster-in-the-making than any aspect of the current health care mess, they're not even going to get enough Democrats to support this turkey to pass it.

    October 19, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  8. The Voice

    That is "evil" at its best. They back up the rich, who are funding these organizations. What a bunch of cowards!!

    October 19, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  9. TLDSR

    The Republican Party is a disgrace and an abomination. There is something putrid about these guys and gals. The Republican Parties of past decades did not make me want to shower after I hear or see them speak on issues. I think it may have started with the Newt Gingrich Crew a few years back.

    October 19, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  10. notfooledtx

    Nice...the RNC and republicans are taking advice from criminals now.

    Is there no depth too low for them to stoop to?

    October 19, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  11. mark

    Years of control of both the White House and Congress and the GOP would not put forward any health plan reform ideas. Now they sit on the sidelines and criticize everything put forward, acting like their usual puppet-selves for the health care industry.

    October 19, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  12. Carter Landrum

    The democraps will pass their idiotic "health care" bill. What we need to do is remove them from the government in Nov and require the republicans to overturn all this stupidity.

    October 19, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  13. Scottyrw

    Rick Scott is a multi millionaire that owns a chain of health care units across the USA. He funds most of the attacks on health care reform because he personally will lose millions of $$$$ if reform is passed!

    October 19, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  14. annie s

    Conservatives for Patients Rights leader Rick Scott – who was CEO of the largest for-profit hospital chain in the country when it was fined 1.7 billion for Medicare fraud. Oh yeah, conservatives, listen to this guy. He IS the problem.

    October 19, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  15. B

    The currant GOP is the most negative and divisive in history.

    They offer no alternative solutions on anything, just throw rocks.
    How can you support anyone who openly admits that they want the President to fail !

    Worst of the worst.

    October 19, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  16. Hammerer

    17% unemployment, $1.4 TRILLION budget deficit for 2009, home foreclosuers at an all time high, and all congress can talk about is spending $2 Trillion on free healthcare for the lazy and illegals, and another stimulus package and complain that the GOP is a party of NO.
    Same old lines same old song and the new regimen promised a new way of doing business in Washington.
    SAME OLD LIES, but the masses bought in again, will they ever learn?
    Probably not.

    October 19, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  17. Allen

    It's to bad obama is a lier. Unfortunately the legal US middle class citizens are going t be fronting the bill, for illegal un-documented people in this country. I find it interesting obama seems to be side stepping this question.

    October 19, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  18. ran

    The Public option sure has theses guys in a hissy fit. Good.

    They should be happy it is an option and not universal health care single payer non-profit. Which it should be and some day it will be.

    October 19, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  19. katiec

    The GOP is and will be against Health Care Reform, regardless of it's merits and benefits. They are out to destroy it, along with our president, stooping to a level I have never before seen a political party resort to. They have totally disregarded the American people and our country, and, as usual supporting big business over our survival.
    They have no workable, acceptable plans of their own so incite anger, hate, fear mongering and divisions within our country, spew lies
    distortion, hypocrasy in hopes of misguiding the American people.
    They do not give us any credit for intelligence and the ability to see
    through their sewer tactics.

    October 19, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
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