Out of Control Policy Blog

Obama Strategists Shift Tactics, Not Goal, on Health Care

Scott Gottlieb, M.D., a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, writes in the New York Post that the Obama Administration is watching the poll numbers to re-craft their health care reform message in real time. Most recently, they have shifted their message from covering the uninsured (universal coverage) to attacking insurance companies. Polling numbers find that Americans like their doctors but not the insurance companies.

That broadside [by Speaker Nancy Pelosi demonizing insurance companies] was foreshadowed by a subtler Obama shift during his July 22 press conference, when he repeatedly referred to his health-care plan as "insurance reform." Gone was his usual pitch about the need to cover America's uninsured.

The president hit the same theme yesterday at a town-hall meeting in Portsmouth, NH, telling the audience "right now we have a health-insurance system that works better for the insurance industry than it does for the American people."

The new language suggests a clear shift in strategy: When Congress returns, expect the White House and Democratic leaders to recast health reform as "consumer protection from insurance companies" rather than "providing coverage for America's uninsured."

But the new "marketing strategy" is a pitch for the same final product--a single, government-run insurance program.

More on Reason Foundation's work on health care and universal coverage can be found here.

Samuel Staley is Research Fellow

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Comments to "Obama Strategists Shift Tactics, Not Goal, on Health Care":

Hugh P. | August 15, 2009, 6:47am | #

The Health care bill has been blown out by lots of criticisms and negative issue of what will be its hidden agenda behind the concern of our government to give its people a better medical care service. The latest of its negative views is about the op-ed piece, called New York Post Deadly Doctors. New York Post Deadly Doctors refers to an op-ed by Betsy McCaughhey, and she isn't in favor of Obamacare. The piece described a purported tenet of the public health care plan, which would create an allotment system that would deny care to the mentally disabled and the elderly. (This rumor hasn't been confirmed in the bill itself.) She also went on a tear about Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Rahm Emanuel's brother, and hasn't checked a lot of facts or cited the health care bill itself. Maybe she should have put some cash advances into researching New York Post Deadly Doctors instead of just quaking over nothing.

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