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Beware the Frame: GOP Wastes No Time in Embracing Frank Luntz’s Vapid ‘Patient-Doctor’ Health Care Rhetoric

Will Luntz's strategy of misdirection derail true health care reform?

Earlier this week, a memo written by right-wing message guru Frank Luntz was leaked instructing the Republican Party on how to frame the health care debate in order to defeat progressive reform. Since his pivotal role in helping craft Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America, Luntz has had an impressive record of cloaking regressive and conservative policies with carefully poll-tested language. For instance, Luntz is credited with persuading Republicans to use the intentionally misleading term “death tax” to describe the estate tax.

According to CQ, Republicans are enthusiastically embracing Luntz and his health care memo. At a private workshop organized by the House leadership, Luntz was welcomed with applause and cries of “Welcome home!” Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) gushed, “We look to him for how do we express the things that we believe in ways that are effective.”

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