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GOP Messaging Strategy on Health Care Revealed


Rick Scott gave up a lucrative career as a health industry CEO after being forced to resign amidst the largest Medicare fraud settlement in history. He went on to found Conservatives for Patients' Rights, a swiftboat-style campaign to kill Obamacare. He was even a featured speaker at his local Tea Party protest! Rick is one of our favorites.

Zack Wamp, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Betsy McCaughey, John Goodman and many more of the Republican corporation hand-lickers are featured at the Healthy Americans Against Reforming Healthcare (www.haarm.org) website.

HAARM is a work of parody by SEIU's Change That Works campaign.

Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Comments (30)


Let's see. We're broke. We're BAD broke. We're so bad broke we're practically having to borrow money to keep the lights on, never mind the mortgage and car payments... yet we're still kiting checks like tomorrow we're going to get rich uncle Paul's inheritance and we'll be able to pay everything off.

So tell me again how going an addition trillion in debt to pay for an unproven, untest assumption - supposedly we'll be able to 'pay' for universal medical care by unspecified 'savings' from cost reduction and efficiencies - is going to 'save' us money?

And if the plan is so full of money-saving wonderous goodness, why isn't it being implemented on Medicare right now, to show it actually works?

It's not that I'm skeptical, you see - well, yes, I guess I am - but spending money you don't have and won't be getting anytime soon to MAYBE have some savings of the money you're spending (that you don't have, and won't actually be getting anytime soon) just doesn't make much sense to me, no matter how it's presented.

And I'm not trying to be snarky or sarcastic here, Lee - I'm really not seeing how this is going to be anything other than a horrible expansion of the massive debt we've already got, and gutting a system that mostly works (which can be patched to cover the folks who aren't insured relatively easily and cheaply) to implement something horrendously huge, expensive, and untried.

Lee Ward:

Republicans didn't give a squat about he natoinal debt when the billions were going into the pockets of defense contractors and our service men and women were laying their lives on the line to protect the interests of the oil companies...

... but talk about protecting the health of a pregnant women and her unborn child and the right to life hypocrites clutch their wallets and pray for Glenn Beck to make it all right.

Your words speak for themselves, Lawson. You're just another right to life hypocrite.


I am remembering headlines from a few years ago about a Canadian woman who was flown to the United States for health care during pregnancy and delivery, because the Canadian system could not care for them. Where do Canadians go when we adopt their system.
Lee, please do not assume that those of us who are opposed to government run health care do not care about pregnant women and their children, that is an old saw that is thrown about whenever there is opposition to government run systems that have been shown to be totaly disfunctional.
We do care, we just do not care to have Senator Dodd telling us when and where we can see a doctor or if we get the care we need in a timely manner.
I do not trust any politicians or any national political party to be able to do anything for anyone in an efficient or even functional manner.
They talk about cost containment - they write blank checks to crooks.

Jay Tea:

Some people did squawk about the rising deficit. Even more started squawking when Obama's plans sent those already-high deficits into whole new levels of obligation.

So, the rationale is that if you didn't protest loudly at billions, you have no right to complain about trillions? Precisely where is that defining line when people forfeit their right to complain about out-of-control government spending?

And I am intrigued at your opinion of the deficits, Mr. Ward. You've made it clear what you think of others commenting on it, but not your own stance.

I presume you're busily fact-checking it against any and all prior statements you've made...


Lee Ward:

The deficit meltdown began with the bank bailout - you remember - the same bank bailout that Senator John McCain "suspended his campaign" to "fix"...

Back then before the election, spending billions to protect fact-cat bankers was an important mission for the GOP.

Now, when sick and elderly are dying because they don't have health care - the right to life hypocrites are so concerned about debt.

Debt they didn't care about during the 8 years of "spend like a drunken sailor" Bush administration.

They aren't fiscally conservative until the money is being spent on liberal causes like the health and welfare of Americans... then these hypocrites clutch their wallets and pray for deliverance.


Oh,come ON, Lee. I'm on record over on Wizbang as SUPPORTING a woman's right to choose.

But what you're basically saying is, it doesn't MATTER how much Obama spends, right? Because Republicans spent money and you didn't like it?

So Obama can take the deficit Bush left, and triple it, quadruple it, and THEN top it with an extra trillion WE DON'T HAVE AND AREN'T GOING TO GET, and we're supposed to just STFU about it?

No, sorry - nobody gets a pass. You bitched about Bush, we're going to bitch about Obama. Bush ran a deficit, Obama's trying hard make that deficit look like pocket change.

Sooner or later that bill's going to come due. You want it even bigger than it is now?

Lee Ward:

At this point fixing America's Health Care system is priority one, and the plain fact of the matter is the lying GOP hypocrites would be opposing this issue whether the national debt was high or not. They speak of the debt as if they really cared -- but all they care about is saying no to health care for all Americans.

Jay Tea:

Lawson, are you saying our host would rather discuss the failings of those that disagree with him than the actual issue at hand? That he would prefer to cast invective than talk about matters?

I am shocked -- shocked -- I tell you.


Jay Tea:

America's health care system is -- by far -- the best in the world.

America's health care FINANCING system is what needs fixing.

The trick is to find a way that makes that better, not worse. And the best analyses I've seen show that Obama's plans would wreck the parts of the financing system that work, as well as parts that don't.

While simultaneously driving up the federal deficit through the roof.

How impressive. Massive amounts of red ink and blood. They really are visionaries...



lee, you stupidly think that fiscally conservative republicans never complained about deficits under bush. you're wrong. we were complaining about bush's expansion of government since at least 2002 and the drug benefit.

also, nice trick trying to tie fiscal conservatives to the social conservation of the pro-life movement. the only connection between the two is that both factions tend to vote republican because the democrat party is 180 degrees away from where either faction would want to be. nice try, but epic fail.

as far as the sick and the elderly dying because they don't have obamacare? seriously, it won't fix the problem you've identified. in fact, in all likelyhood, the changes that obama would like to impose on the health care industry would make things worse by "managing" care through rationing. by the government making health care choices, and by health care becoming even more a matter of political largeness than it already is.

make the positive case for obamacare if you can. but your choice to attack it's critics with ad hominim attacks, scorn, and hyperbole suggests strongly that you don't have a positve case for it.


Jay -

"I am shocked -- shocked -- I tell you."

Me too. LOL.

Lee Ward:

Our nation currently ranks 34th in terms of the quality of health care -- but Republicans don't give a damn.

They call themselves 'pro-life' out of a concern about messaging - but even that's just another hypocritical lie.

They aren't concerned about human life or they'd acknowledge that affordable/accessible health care for pregnant women and newborns was valuable -- but as their opposition to S-Chip showed, they they are just blowing hot air -- just as they are now claiming a faux concern about the national cost of health care.

If we hadn't racked up a large amount of debt beginning last September with the Bush administration's bank bailout they'd still be opposed to ObamaCare.

So, as the parody in the video above clearly illustrates, it's just one lie after another buzz word after another faux concern.

Luckily, we've learned just how much of a lying hypocrite Republicans are... and when you point out the fallacy of their position they just whine louder.


"make the positive case for obamacare if you can."

Yes, Lee. Please do that.

Jay Tea:

Oddly enough, Obama didn't repudiate the bank bailout. Instead, he chose to not only continue it, but use it for his own purposes -- it wasn't until last week that some banks would be allowed to repay the TARP money and get themselves off the hook to Washington.

So... the bank bailout was bad until it was being run by Obama? And now it's... good? Tolerable? Not worth mentioning?

I reluctantly backed it. Had I known how it would be used, I would not had done so. Damn me, I wasn't cynical enough, didn't have enough faith in my anti-big-government bias, to anticipate just how it would be exploited -- and by whom.

Oh, well. Live and learn...


Lee Ward:

The debt resulting from the Bush administraiton's bank bailout wasn't an issue until Obama was elected.

Now that a democrat is in the White House the drunken sailor spending attitude of the Republicans is just another hypocrisy they are unable to resolve.

Like their proclaimed "Pro-life" stance - how many babies would live longer with better access to affordable health care?

But when it comes to passing affordable health care for all Americans the Party of No feigns great concern about the national debt.

These HMO and Pharmaceutical corporate hand-lickers care more about corporate profits than they do about "life"....

How many women might not choose abortion if they knew they'd have access to affordable health care pre and post partum?

More hypocrisy - more buzz words - more phony 'concern' -- it's all just more Republican bullshit.

Jay Tea:

OK, now it's clear -- because the "right" people didn't object when it was a big problem, they're not allowed to complain when it's on its way to being a humongous problem.

And whether or not something is a problem is entirely dependent on the ideological purity and consistency of the people discussing it.

After all, wasn't it Rahm Emanuel who famously said to never let a crisis go to waste?


Lee Ward:

I see not one of the conservatives commenting here have addressed Rick Scott's issues around Medicare fraud.

Whatsamatter? Can't anyone find something nice to say about this cheeseball? lol...


Wave, wave, wave. Quick, look over there! Evil corporations! Evil drug makers! Evil Republicans! Evil Rick Scott! (Which I wasn't even aware of until you pointed it out, Lee.) Evil! Evil! Evil!

(BTW, if Medicare is so easily defrauded, wouldn't it be a smart thing to fix THAT first and use it as a demo for national health care?)

But no. Obama shoves something (up/down) our (orifices) that hasn't been really discussed, hasn't been tested, hasn't been shown to work better than what we've got, at a price that is yet to be revealed but will be well over a trillion - and given the way government spending on stuff like this has a tendency to double without anyone 'noticing', it's likely to top two trillion...

Which we don't have, and aren't likely to get short of massive borrowing that's going to REALLY screw up our economic outlook for the next decade or five...

Yeah, Lee. Keep blaming the Republicans. They may have lit a match, but it's sure funny how Obama's spraying gasoline around like it's water. I think we're going to end up in a "Hey, Bubba! Watch This!" economic disaster from all this spending. Well - maybe some other country can watch it all and learn from the wreckage.


"But when it comes to passing affordable health care for all Americans the Party of No feigns great concern about the national debt."

Don't know about you, Lee, but having to borrow a trillion dollars or more to pay this bill doesn't look too affordable! Got a few hundred billion squirreled away that you didn't tell the IRS about?

Lee Ward:

If only we had back the trillion dollars wasted on Bush's phony "war on terror"... but sadly we don't.

I haven't heard one 'fiscal conservative' lament the waste of a trillion dollars there.

Still, affordable health care for all Americans is too high a priority to ignore, and given the high priority Obama placed on fixing health care during the campaign, and given the fact that the voters chose Obama and his expensive health care plan over McCain's effort, it's clear there is a green light to move forward.

We'll just have to ignore the efforts of the messaging mutts to spin their phony arguments against it. They don't care about the debt -- they care about getting a right wing hypocrite back in the white house.

Doubting Thomas:

If only we had the 800+ BILLION Obama threw to his cronies on the Stimulus package!

Lee - you can't do it, can you? You can't actually debate this on its merits, you're reduced to spin and frantic evasion.

It'd be laughable if it weren't so pathetic.

Lee Ward:

We would have the money of Bush hadn't lied us into Iraq and spent a trillion US tax dollars there.

And since you arses said nothing while Bush lied and spent that money, it's kind of ridiculous for you to suggest that greasing the wheels of defense contractors is more important than health care for Americans.

Laugh away, Doubting Thomas -- and good luck in the next election. With guys like Sanford on your side its going to be a landslide -- for the Democrats.

We don't have to do anything except let the meltdown of conservative America continue -- you guys are doing all of the work for us.

Jay Tea:

...aaaand it's "Bush lied on the Iraq War FTW!" Nothing like the classics...

Is there ANYTHING that you can't tie into the Iraq War?

And I see you're sticking to your standard tactic #2 as well -- "shoot the messengers!"

So, so much easier than debating the actual points...


Rich Fader:

Democrat messaging strategy on health care:

"Hey, Rock! Watch me pull safe, affordable government-run health care out of muh hat!"

"Bullwinkle, that trick never works!"

"This time for sure!...Nothin' up muh sleeve...presto!"


Doubting Thomas:

I think that's because there's no actual points yet, Jay. Except Obama saying he's going to have a plan for 'affordable' health care, and when pressed for details keeps repeating himself that he's going to have a plan for affordable health care.

But an EXTRA trillion - I don't see how that's affordable by anything but an insane stretch of the fiscal imagination. Obama's already running deficits that make Bush look like a friggin' miser - loading on 'free' medical care (that we're going to pay for out the ass in new taxation) isn't going to balance the budget or reduce the deficit or do anything good for the economy.

Lee Ward:

Suddenly Republicans are concerned about budgets and deficits.

Bush spent a trillion in 7 years on Iraq - nobody on the right cared.

Try to fund health care for all Americans, black, brown, poor... of a trillion spread out over 10 years and suddenly the 'conservatives' are up on their hind legs barking about the cost.

If debt wasn't as high as it is - and it started with the Bush administration's $800 billion bank bailout that Republicans supported despite it's debt-building billions - then the so-called 'conservatives' would be barking about something other than costs. Either way - any way possible - they will oppose health care for all Americans.

They've marginalized themselves into a tiny minority of barking naysayers....

Doubting Thomas:

Lee, as has been pointed out, OBAMA voted for the bailout. And OBAMA ran up the deficit 4 times higher than BUSH did in 7 years within his first 7 MONTHS! (Actually less than 5, but 7 years and 7 months sounds a lot better, I think.)

And this doesn't give you ANY cause for concern at all? Not at ALL? No thought of hesitation whatsoever?

Damn, you'd chug a friggin bottle of poison if Obama told you to, wouldn't you? Without any hesitation, as long as he told you it was okay. Wouldn't even look at the label - just pop the top and suck it down.

You're not even asking the questions that you NEED to know about it - all you're doing is attacking people because they're saying that those questions need to be asked AND answered.


Uh, Lee - the Republicans lost in 2006 and 2008 because conservatives were so disgusted with the way the economy was being handled and because of the deficits that were growing higher and higher. Guess what, the Democrats might want to take a lesson from this.
and Lee, most adults got over playing the finger pointing game a long time ago - doing something wrong just because someone else did something wrong just makes a bigger mess. Remember when your mom said just because your friend Johnny jumped of a cliff does not mean you should.


jesus christ, lee, can't you ever debate an issue on it's merits? all you have is vile, hate-filled vitriol.

where is your arguement in favor of obamacare?
what does obamacare consist of?
how will it make health care more affordable?

can you answer these questions? i'd be surprised if you could considering that obama can't even answer them.


"Affordable Healthcare for all Americans (US citizens) is a priority."

Perhaps one priority, but as a household that's been living beyond its means for decades, and one thats been invaded by millions of uninvited tenants who now demand that they be included on the deed to the house they didn't buy into, well, I think we need to get our house in order before we start demanding healthcare "rights" for all.

It really sucks to see sick people suffer. Right now we DON'T have the means to relieve all their suffering AND keep our house safe and in order. This "plan" from the current administration is poorly conceived and will be even more poorly executed. As will our ability [be executed] to provide any health care to any but the rich and select few power gods and their families. Then the suffering will be increased (see the UK and Canada).


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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