October 19th, 2009
11:41 AM ET
12 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. Frank, Las Vegas

    Medicare for all.

    October 19, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  2. Chris - MN

    If they are successful in stalling solid reform, I predict that in ten years when the bottom falls out they will blame Obama for it. That's the capper to their plan. First, deny him a victory. Second, fleece the populace. Third, blame someone else when the system falls apart.

    October 19, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  3. www.firedoglake.com

    To all you people throwing money at Rick Scott and groups like his in order to defend the heath insurers' right to make excessive profits beyond the wildest dreams of avarice:

    You do realize that Rick Scott and his CPR are largely irrelevant in this debate, right?

    The argument is entire between 1) real Democrats like Chuck Schumer, Jay Rockefeller and Tom Harkin, and 2) fake Democrats like Max Baucus, Evan Bayh and Blanche Licoln.

    Keep throwing your money at Rick Scott.

    It's like throwing it into the garbage as far as this debate is concerned.

    October 19, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  4. Moderate Democrat

    Correction, what republicans want is NO HEALTH CARE REFORM.

    Republican retards have been in office the MAJORITY of the US HISTORY. And NADA has happened under their leadership except mass genocide here and abroad.

    Don't be fooled by the republicans or the CPR when they say cute little things like "we need to fix it" followed by "but not this way'. What that really means is "We've never done anything about it so far, and don't plan to stop the mass carnage that we profit from. So don't kill our cash cow. Who cares if we kill 45000 americans per year in the process of making record profits. We love the murder for cash business called "Health Care".

    October 19, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  5. Voted4HealthCare

    Division as a platform for my former Republican Party is unfortunately no surprise anymore and only confirms why I left the GOP.

    How sad these groups actually work AGAINST health care for Americans, instead of trying to find ways to work together FOR solutions to our issues.

    Health Reform Now with a majority-supported public option that will increase competition and extend affordable coverage to more Americans.

    October 19, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  6. OldScout

    4 & Door's financial source fails to remove the former high price paid for medical services cover in "costing" out this increase that is non-existant.

    The Republicans and their loyal minions have no reason to tell the truth about anything. The truth of life is that Republicans want to return us to a status quo of the 1890's. The 'Roaring 90's' were the hayday of robber barons, manifest destiny and other mechanisms that generated great profits prior to income taxes. This is the nirvana and dream of current Republican philosophy.

    October 19, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  7. Jeff

    Big Business, corporations, all those who stand to lose if we take care of each other and treat each other as Jesus would. What would Jesus do? Leave people without coverage, or pay more money to take care of people. Jesus was indeed a liberal.

    October 19, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  8. David in Houston

    Demand a Public Option Now!

    October 19, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  9. Randolph Carter, chairman of the death panel

    Funny how a public option would pass in the house, where representation is apportioned by population, while it would not pass in the senate, where each state gets 2 votes. This tells me that the majority of Americans want a public option and that we are being held back by legislators from the hick states and corporate puppets. Have a nice day!

    October 19, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  10. Scott, Tucson

    And I guess you like the obamacare plan of the IRS throwing you in jail if you refuse to pay the fines when you choose not to enroll into his health care plan.

    October 19, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  11. Librarian

    As Alan Grayson pointed out , the Republicans' answer to people getting sick in this country, without insurance: Die quickly.

    October 19, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  12. Steve Lyons

    Congress has divided the nation to subvert the Constitution. We as a people need to unite and tell Congress that mandates are ILLEGAL under the US Constitution. Then we need to toss them out of office wholesale. We need term limits and tort reform. That will restore the ability of the US to compete in the global market. We also need to repeal the 16th Amendment and force the Federal government to operate exclusively on taxes placed on imports and exports. Build the US Job base and people can afford insurance. Prohibit "free" health care for ILLEGALS and slap hard limits om legal fees.

    October 19, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  13. wait a minute

    While GOP in its destroyer's mind, it provides no alternatives for health care reform. They cling to Choice even to those without insurance. I am insured and an Independent. GOP has been divided and conquered last year. The best way for their return is to contribute positively to the debate IF they can.

    I just spoke with a Massachusetts' resident this past weekend and of course I asked about the Universal Health Care in MA. It is the achieved affordability that impresses me the most. In particular, for small businesses, which are our second engine for economic recovery, manufacturing being the first.

    Affordability has been experimented in MA and it succeeded.
    Universal Health Care can be done.

    October 19, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  14. Minnesotan

    Most Americans want a Public Option. It's time for the Dems to stand with Americans and against the lying Republicans, greedy Insurance Companies, despicable HMO's, and corrupt lobbyists!

    October 19, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  15. Carmelle

    The real way to approach this is by considering who is paying them to do this.

    If republicans wanted to do something about healthcare why didn't they do it in the passed 8 years? Based on that, it is safe to assume that they were and are ok with the status quo. With the status quo (if no reform passes), according to the report the insurance industry released last week, premiums will be 80% higher in 10 yrs (imagine that!!). In fact, if what they are focusing on now is the public option, it now makes even more sense to have one after this warning!

    My question is, to all the neh-sayers, why do you hate the middle class? Why do you hate America? Did you have enough? You are exempt from Anti-trust laws, and you ate on the back on the American ppl, ENOUGH!

    I WANT A PUBLIC OPTION – Just in case you decide to screw me over!

    October 19, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  16. John jr

    Gee and this comes as a ssurprise??? I think not its pretty obvious to all that what was mandated by the election has just been watered away by the lobbyist and money hungry house and senate. Go figure situation normal working class minus 10 lobbyist and the rich plus 10! priceless Soo who minds the store ??? the lobyists!

    October 19, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  17. Melissa

    What a bunch of greedy whiny children these insurance people are.

    October 19, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  18. hockey dad

    Rick Scott,.. the disgraced fraudster, former ceo of Columbia health, fined $1.7 billion , for ripping off the government and patients,.. a real upstanding citizen,... no wonder he wants to maintain the status quo,.. Scott should be in jail.

    October 19, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  19. victim of republican greed

    A person in American dies every 12 seconds. Maybe the republican party thinks they are all democrats, and that will help them win in 2010.

    October 19, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Once again Democraps in Congress: Take a page from the GOP War Book and learn! Divide and Conquer: the oldest trick in the book and your selfishness, greedyness, and lukewarm loyalty to country and your President are making you fall for it AGAIN! Stand together as one in public, and hash out your differences in private. The GOP is preying on your weakness: your wishy-washyness, and your incredulousness when it comes to how hard-hitting and low-down the GOP can truly be. By the time you recover from your shock, they've jockeyed into position. WAKE UP DEMOCRATS! PLEASE!

    October 19, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  21. obummer, 1 and done

    Go ge em!!!

    Nice to hear from people who understand what government meddling in the private sector does to the economy.

    After all, look at the banking industry, (clinton and Fannie Mae debacle almost destroying our banking industry, Social Security being raided for other programs and is now near bankruptcy, the obummer spending aka pork bill, etc).

    But this being a sheep blog page, (democrats following what they are told), I'm sure this falls on deaf ears.

    now be good democrats and do as you are told and blast anything that you are told to blast.

    Baaaaa! Baaaaa!

    October 19, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  22. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Rick Scott is a former owner of a Hospital network and made millions on the providing substandard care to the suffering. He should not be a part of any reasonable debate on healthcare – but the right wingers don't resemble anything close to "reasonable".

    October 19, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  23. Randolph Carter, chairman of the death panel

    You neocons are right. Government shouldn't meddle in the private sector. That's why we should end all farm subsidies immediately. Have a nice day!

    October 19, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  24. Sandra, Atlanta

    I am sick of complaints and no solutions...other than Tort Reform. Don't talk to me about that unless there are some other things on the table such as reporting on doctors who are found guilty of malpractice, etc.

    For the cuts in the Medicare advantage billions to the Health care industry, can you please explain why ALL medicare receipients shouldn't be treated alike? If they want more they should pay for it. Isn't that what you tell the ordinary Americans. And please don't tell me they are paying for it because the taxpayers are. I guess the pay for it yourself only applies if its for someone other than yourself.

    October 19, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  25. Pam

    "Massive tax increases" ????
    "Deep cuts in Medicare" ????

    You guys really do make this stuff up!!!

    October 19, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
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