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. Ashamed

    I love the notion that government is going to "provide" health care. What do people not understand? The government doesn't "provide" anything. When you collect an entitlement from the government, look at your neighbor or his/her neighbor, or the guy down the street that runs the grocery store and thank them, not Obama or Pelosi.

    The government doesn't GENERATE capital, it takes it from citizens and shuffles it around. Anytime the government "gives" you something, they are actually taking it from someone in your neighborhood and sending your way. I thought this was a generally understood principle, but after reading this site for a while, I think it's lost on many. Hence, I felt it necessary to reiterate.

    October 19, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  2. WI Cheesehead

    Straight and simple as long as healthcare is a commodity that can be trade on Wall Street as a "for profit insurance company", America will never live to see affordable healthcare.

    October 19, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  3. JS007

    Some people are pure evil. This guy takes money from insurance companies and then pretends he works for the "people" by undermining the very measures that would help them. On his hands he has the blood of all those who die due to a lack of health insurance, as well as the pain, suffering and bankruptcy of millions of American families. His mother must be proud.

    October 19, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  4. We Won Get Over It

    That is the problem....the insurance companies are desperate...they see all that money slipping down the drain.....what Democrats should do is divide the country...give the republicans to the insurance companies and prepare a real health care reform bill for the ones of the US that are real true blue Americans....

    I would love for every single solitary republican that opposes health care reform to loose their coverage, especially those in congress. Let them have to start over and go the route of the average American...then shove it in their face as to what the rest of the country is going thru to get and keep reasonable coverage. WHO'S FOR IT...EVERYBODY BUT REPUBLICAN NUTSO..

    October 19, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  5. Rosa Birmingham, AL

    As long as insurance is for profit, we will never have affordable health care. The profit is nothing but waste. Million dollar salaries for CEOs, waste We either need universal single payer or insurance needs to be regulated like a utility (or even more).

    Second point is that the employer based system for obtaining insurance must go. Our companies cannot compete globally if they have to cover these costs. It also prevents people from moving to better jobs leading to further stagnation in the economy.

    October 19, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  6. Edwin

    This country NEEDS health care reform! Nearly every legitimate poll shows that the vast majority of Americans agree, if not the details.

    The memo was addressed to "Conservative Leaders and Free Market Health Care Allies." Free Market Health Care Allies = Big Insurance Lobbies.

    October 19, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  7. John

    By the way, the banking industry meltdown is a perfect example of the corporatism of the Reagan-Bushes-Clinton era taken to its logical end. Regulations were taken off Wall Street, former barriers were removed that led to all kinds of weird money-making scams.

    So long as the house of cards was standing, noboby cared.

    Then it collapsed, and all of the sudden, all those financial interests who were "too big to fail"–courtesy of the merger-mania we saw under Reagan–held the economy hostage. They were bailed out because they had been given too much control over us in the first place, all with stupid acquiesence of conservatives more concerned about fantasy stormtroopers coming for their guns.


    October 19, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  8. jobless recovery

    We won get over it, is such a ridiculous moniker. This isn't a football game. You are rooting for a political party that cares nothing for you. The only answer is LESS Fed. Govt, and more local govt. You are so brainwashed. Barack Obama put us 1.42 TRILLION dollars in debt this year. who's gonna pay it off?? NOT YOU!

    October 19, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  9. Liz in Texas

    Rick Scott, a multi-millionaire lawyer and ex-ceo of Columbia/HCA, a hospital/healthcare corporation. Of course, he has the American people's best interest at heart and not his pocketbook.

    October 19, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  10. JediMasterMatt - Bethlehem, PA

    Sure, as long as the unemployed, poor, and elderly don't get health insurance the Republicans/Conservatives will be happy. Most of the people fighting against health reform or the 'public option' already have health insurance and can care less about those of us living day to day without coverage. Most of us (the unemployed) are praying that we don't get ill or become involved in an accident that will take us into a long and expensive hospital stay.

    What's wrong with a 'public option' giving the insurance companies a little competition?...they might actually have to work for their money instead of fattening the wallets of their CEOs with multi-million dollar bonuses!

    October 19, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  11. Mississippi Miss

    This bill will be baddddddd to the bone. Years from now, no one
    will remember the cross-road where we are standing as a nation.
    We will not even remember the exact point and time, when we
    lost our way. I pray that this bill will be soundly defeated, dead, buried and then I will mourn for it. I would rather weep for a bad piece of junk that died an awful death, than to weep for the loss of personal liberty.

    October 19, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  12. jobless recovery

    If you don't believe their will be a massive tax increase, you are nuts. Where is the money coming from?? Wake up!
    Pam, there won't be cuts in Medicare? READ THE BILL. It's in there. It is astounding how brainwashed you Obama genuflecters are.

    October 19, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  13. public option bound

    Gotta have and GONNA HAVE A PUBLIC OPTION ! ! ! !

    The mean-spirited conservative agencies and insurance companies are using the very billions of dollars mulct from bloating profits of the status quo to try to convince their own wary American people that health care overhaul will increase their premiums. Laughably, if this were a valid prospect, these selfish "samo-samo" promoters would be tight-lipped and push for health care reform.

    Insensitively you want to continue to reap your lucrative lush wild harvest while your own brothers, sisters, and fellow citizens are dying! !

    October 19, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  14. Steph

    So the conservatives want to continue to lie to the American people so we can continue to get screwed by the insurance companies...great plan. It seems this is all about politices. They are not at all interested in solving a huge problem. Our health care system is broken...plain and simple.

    October 19, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  15. jobless recovery

    75% of america like their coverage. Why should we support the rest of you who are lazy and unwilling? If you are handicapped, I will be more than happy to help. But for those who drop out of hs or college, or don't work 1 or 2 jobs...oh well! No one helps me.

    October 19, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  16. Fools and their freedoms are soon parted

    SHHHHHH, don't give away the secret, it's fun to watch them attack each other

    October 19, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  17. mom2boys

    All I have to say is....if I have to pay more taxes to get affordable health insurance and it allows people who can't afford it, to get health insurance then so be it. See, us liberals or liberal leaning people realize that Jesus wished everyone to take care of one another and "Love thy neighbor as you do yourself". Unfortunately, the idiot conservatives and republican FAKE christians wouldn't understand that because you are....FAKE christians. I don't mind paying higher taxes if it means helping my fellow man.

    October 19, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  18. Die Communist, Die!

    Increasing taxes, rationing care and shifting costs are not health care reform. The Baucus bill is nothing more than a shell game that will lead to increased taxes and loss of coverage for those with employer-provided plans. Instead of doubling down on the failed Medicare model, someone in government should be asking: Is it really the role of government to provide health care to anyone? If we want real health care reform, then we will get government out of the health care business.

    October 19, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  19. Connie, Indiana

    Who cares anymore..If the two sides can't get together and resolve their concerns and problems the health care is doomed. There is way too much money to be got for the ones wanting it. Too many lies by opponents of the reform bill, too much fear-mongering, senators and congressmen/women who lie about just to keep their seats. Now the question is who has the guts to do what is right for the American people? The way I see it none of them. So we have to face it, the American people are being screwed by the people who were elected to work of us and have our best interest at heart, see money talks and most of us don't have the reserves to influence their votes.

    October 19, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  20. carrie miller

    the MAJORITY of real americians want public option thats the only solution for competion in the insurance world i love my public health care it called MEDICARE

    October 19, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  21. Shoveit

    I see where rahm is saying that cadillac health care plans will probably be taxed to provide insurance to the welfare sector. I worked long and hard all my life to provide my family with a good healthcare plan, now obama wants to take it away and give it to the leeches. There is nothing right about this at all.

    October 19, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  22. File under "Sarcasm"

    Why do the phrases "banana republic" and "socialism" pop into my head instead of "healthcare reform" when I read the comments from those with an obvious desire to either get something for nothing by having their rich neighbors pay for it or to punish the evil insurance industry for not providing it for free.

    October 19, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  23. Patrick

    This is further evidence that Conservative partisans are not serious about any form of reform and would rather continue with a detrimental, middle-class-enslaving status quo. Divide and Conquer is not a negotiation tactic, nor is it concerned with truth.

    Prepare America! Swift Boats ahead!

    October 19, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  24. Tom St. Paul

    Hey Scott, you need to get out amongst the rest of us ASAP. Then you'd know that we are extremely skeptical about "free market" solutions to our nation's healthcare problems. You don't need to "educate" us about this. We learned all we needed to know by watching the mortgage and banking crises unfold. Keep your "free" market out of our healthcare!!!

    October 19, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  25. Josh

    Is this the voice of the anti-health reform crowd? Do they really know who he is? He almost went to jail for staling from patients. now he's telling his group how to make up stuff. We as a nation have been taken for granted far too long. it's about time we read between the lines – these Right Wing Nuts are no friends of the common man.

    October 19, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
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