Better Health-Care Talking Points Needed


Poor Republicans. You'd think they'd have an easy enough time opposing a trillion-dollar overhaul of a health-care system in which the vast majority of people are actually fairly satisfied with their coverage. Health-care reform isn't exactly going smoothly for the Democrats, but internal strife is at least as much a factor as Republican opposition, which has been reduced to opportunistic recitals of consultant-scripted talking points and Alfred E. Newmanesque admissions by RNC Chair Michael Steele that he "doesn't do policy." 
I think the GOP's message that we can't afford to get health care wrong has some merit, but in general, Republicans don't seem to have the foggiest idea about what they actually think about health care—except that they're happy to bash Obama if it might prove politically helpful. What might Republicans do to get a clue? It may be that they've already been marginalized to the point that their tactics won't matter all that much. But if they're looking to regain some relevance with a different message, they could do a lot worse than listen to Arnold Kling, a guy who, unlike Michael Steele, actually knows an awful lot about free-market health-care reform.

NEXT: England's Green and Surveilled Land

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. admissions by RNC Chair Michael Steele that he “doesn’t do policy.”

    Steele doesn’t do policy. He ingests it under orders from his neurophysiologist.

    My level of sympathy for Republicans is some where down at the level of sympathy I have for vegans who live on peanut butter and complain about being fat. They ass-fucked the country for eight years and are whining about the spattering shart the country let out afterwards. They have no principles, no scruples, and no idea how to stop the collectivism ruining this country. They had eight years and did nothing to make the government smaller, nothing to make us freer, nothing to roll back the tide of fuckery sweeping the nation.

    The Republicans and Democrats need to rape each other for a while and give us a richly deserved rest. Partisan Thunderdome; the winners are the ones we only exile.

  2. Unfortunately, most of the Republican leadership (such as it is) seems to have bought into the “moderate” mantra of people like Colin Powell who essentially think that the winning strategy for Republicans is to be Democrats-Lite.

    Thus they wind up accepting all the premises of the left and try to define their differences on matters of degree and methods of implementation rather mount any opposition on any principled ideological basis.

  3. This is a very long piece about the left’s health care myths. It is too long, but it nails some of the points that need nailing I think.


  4. Republicans don’t need to say a thing:

    Gallup: Obama’s Approval at 47 Percent on Economy, 44 Percent on Health Care

    Gallup offers a bit of a game-changer as Obama gets ready for the health-care-heavy prime time news conference tomorrow night: “As the debate over healthcare reform intensifies, the latest USA Today/Gallup poll finds that more Americans disapprove (50%) than approve (44%) of the way U.S. President Barack Obama is handling healthcare policy. There is a tremendous partisan gap in these views, with 74% of Democrats but only 11% of Republicans approving. Independents are more likely to disapprove than to approve of Obama’s work on healthcare,” with 40 percent approving, 55 percent disapproving.

    He’s in dramatically worse shape across the board in Gallup’s latest numbers, with his approval on the economy at 47 percent (49 percent disapprove!), taxes at 45 percent (48 percent disapprove!) 41 percent on the deficit (55 percent disapprove!).

  5. Republicans don’t seem to have the foggiest idea about what they actually think about health care

    Like they have any more than a foggy idea about ANYTHING? What principles they might once have at least talked about they threw away in their greed to maintain power. No wonder they don’t know what to think.

    “gollum, gollum – oh, the precious…”

  6. Amen. They had control of the White House. They had at one time, control of both houses of Congress. Argueably, they had control of the Supreme Court. They had a once in a generation chance to make a real difference in the direction of the Country. They chose business as usual. And now they complain when they are out-maneuvered by a slick talking street smart democrat.

    They never learn. They never will. And the rest of us pay the price.

  7. Kudos to SugarFree for the Grosse Point Blank reference.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.