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Mike Bryant
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The Attacks On The Health Care Plan: Looks Like They Were Planned Out

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Are you torn with all of the health care debates? What is being talked about and what isn’t? Who is behind what and what do the leaders of our country really want to do? Who has bought off who and why is anyone saying that they would rather keep things the way they are?

I’ve talked to enough people about this issue to know that many people are confused about why this is such a battle. Why the plan isn’t just to sit down and to work something out and get a plan put together. It’s been interesting to discuss with people the role that trial lawyers are playing in the issue and also the roles of the insurance companies. I, like many of the people here at the Injuryboard, have been out front talking about the issues every chance we get.

What was illuminating was to run across the game plan of the opposition to any change. Rolling Stone recently uncovered this interesting memo:

The 10 Rules For The Stopping Of The "WASHINGTON TAKEOVER” Of Health care

(1) Humanize your approach. Abandon and exile ALL references to the “health care system.” From now on, health care is about people. Before you speak, think of the three components of tone that matter most: Individualize. Personalize. Humanize.

(2) Acknowledge the “crisis” or suffer the consequences. If you say there is no health care crisis, you give your listener permission to ignore everything else you say. It is a credibility killer for most Americans. A better approach is to define the crisis in your terms. “If you’re one of the millions who can’t afford health care, it is a crisis.” Better yet, “If some bureaucrat puts himself between you and your doctor, denying you exactly what you need, that’s a crisis.” And the best: “If you have to wait weeks for tests and months for treatment, that’s a health care crisis.”

(3) “Time” is the government health care killer. As Mick Jagger once sang, “Time is on Your Side.” Nothing else turns people against the government takeover of health care than the realistic expectation that it will result in delayed and potentially even denied treatment, procedures and/or medications. “Waiting to buy a car or even a house won’t kill you. But waiting for the health care you need – could. Delayed care is denied care.”

(4) The arguments against the Democrats’ health care plan must center around “politicians,” “bureaucrats,” and “Washington” … not the free market, tax incentives, or competition. Stop talking economic theory and start personalizing the impact of a government takeover of health care. They don’t want to hear that you’re opposed to government health care because it’s too expensive (any help from the government to lower costs will be embraced) or because it’s anti-competitive (they don’t know about or care about current limits to competition). But they are deathly afraid that a government takeover will lower their quality of care – so they are extremely receptive to the anti-Washington approach. It’s not an economic issue. It’s a bureaucratic issue.

(5) The health care denial horror stories from Canada & Co. do resonate, but you have to humanize them. You’ll notice we recommend the phrase “government takeover” rather than “government run” or “government controlled” It’s because too many politician say “we don’t want a government run health care system like Canada or Great Britain” without explaining those consequences. There is a better approach. “In countries with government run health care, politicians make YOUR health care decisions.THEY decide if you’ll get the procedure you need, or if you are disqualified because the treatment is too expensive or because you are too old. We can’t have that in America.”

(6) Health care quality = “getting the treatment you need, when you need it.” That is how Americans define quality, and so should you. Once again, focus on the importance of timeliness, but then add to it the specter of “denial.” Nothing will anger Americans more than the chance that they will be denied the health care they need for whatever reason. This is also important because it is an attribute of a government health care system that the Democrats CANNOT offer. So say it. “The plan put forward by the Democrats will deny people treatments they need and make them wait to get the treatments they are allowed to receive.”

(7) “One-size-does-NOT-fit-all.” The idea that a committee of Washington bureaucrats” will establish the standard of care for all Americans and decide who gets what treatment based on how much it costs is anathema to Americans. Your approach? Call for the “protection of the personalized doctor-patient relationship.” It allows you to fight to protect and improve something good rather than only fighting to prevent something bad.

(8) WASTE, FRAUD, and ABUSE are your best targets for how to bring down costs. Make no mistake: the high cost of health care is still public enemy number one on this issue – and why so many Americans (including Republicans and conservatives) think the Democrats can handle health care better than the GOP. You can’t blame it on the lack of a private market; in case you missed it, capitalism isn’t exactly in vogue these days. But you can and should blame it on the waste, fraud, and abuse that is rampant in anything and everything the government controls.

(9) Americans will expect the government to look out for those who truly can’t afford health care. Here is the perfect sentence for addressing cost and the limited role for government that wins you allies rather than enemies: A balanced, common sense approach that provides assistance to those who truly need it and keeps health care patient-centered rather than government-centered for everyone.”

(10) It’s not enough to just say what you’re against. You have to tell them what you’re for. It’s okay (and even necessary) for your campaign to center around why this health care plan is bad for America. But if you offer no vision for what’s better for America, you’ll be relegated to insignificance at best and labeled obstructionist at worst. What Americans are looking for in health care that your “solution” will provide is, in a word, more: “more access to more treatments and more doctors…with less interference from insurance companies and Washington politicians and special interests.”

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Reading this list, it seems clear that there are a group of people who don’t want to get anything done. The people who ran the country for eight years and put profits in front of people and drove many parts of the economy into the dirt. It is made up of people who scream capitalism all the way to the bailout window. People who need to either come to the table and talk sense or get out of the way and let those who care about the consumer put together something that will truly make a difference.

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  1. up arrow

    It is very true and obvious that the attacks were coordinated. All of the elements of fear associated with change have been brought up ranging from loss of choice, to increased taxes, to government control of our lives. It is always easier to fight change than to be a part of it and much has been done to fight any meaningful change for political gains rather than work for the benefit of the public.

  2. Mike Bryant says:
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    Watch the Republican Leadership today. It is exactly as you say. Much of the same they said about Medicare. Hopefully, the truth will keep winning the battle. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.