Republicans Prove Selves Irrelevant Yet Again, Argue Health System OK

News & Politics

WAS THE LUNTZ MEMO NOT CLEAR ENOUGH?.... Following up on yesterday's item, high-profile Republicans continue to suggest health care reform isn't especially important, and the status quo isn't so bad. I'm not sure why.

Remember, this isn't supposed to be the GOP script. Republican pollster Frank Luntz reminded GOP officials not to ignore the public support for changing the system. "You simply MUST be vocally and passionately on the side of REFORM," Luntz advised his party. "The status quo is no longer acceptable. If the dynamic becomes 'President Obama is on the side of reform and Republicans are against it,' then the battle is lost and every word in this document is useless.... Acknowledge the 'crisis' or suffer the consequences."

And yet, over the past couple of weeks, the number of Republicans trashing the very idea of reform keeps growing. Yesterday, Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) spoke out against changing the system and said the number of uninsured has been exaggerated. And a few days ago, Fox News personality Steve Doocy insisted that only 5 percent of the population has no coverage and said it's not worth "blowing up the system for 5 percent."

What happened to avoiding "President Obama is on the side of reform and Republicans are against it"?

Media Matters did a nice job fact-checking the anti-reform message, noting, among other things, the fact that insurance companies "often cancel policies or deny coverage," the congressional proposals include "provisions to help those who lose their insurance purchase new policies," and conservative claims about the number of insured just aren't true.

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