Thursday, August 06, 2009

Robert Reich on the Republican astro-turf campaign against universal health care

Robert Reich discusses what is happening with the Republicans attacking health care.
The Republicans' goal isn't ideological. It's power. Republicans smell 1994 all over again. That's when they defeated Clinton's healthcare plan -- and in doing so convinced large numbers of Americans that Clinton and the Democrats couldn't be trusted. This enabled the Republicans to retake control of Congress. From then on, they blocked Clinton's agenda. They even gave themselves a shot at the presidency in 1996.

Who can blame them for wanting to recreate 1994? Republicans have no other strategy. They can't attack Obama personally because he's just too popular. They've been incapable of coming up with their own plan for healthcare reform. The biggest healthcare interest groups -- the AMA, private insurers, and Big Pharma -- have publicly backed the major healthcare initiatives coming from congressional Democrats (although, I suspect, are quietly supporting the Republicans' Astroturf blitz). Their "tea parties" in April were a flop. Their poll numbers are awful. Their major loudmouths -- Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannnity, and Dick Cheney -- are not exactly attractive to most Americans. Their biggest nightmare, Sarah Pallin, is already on the campaign trail for 2012.

But this Republican strategy will fail. 2010 will not be 1994. There's too much momentum behind universal health care right now to stop it. Yet the Republicans' fake grass-roots campaign may cause some Democratic lawmakers to become even more nervous about universal health care than they already are, or at least give them an excuse to duck when it comes time to vote in September. The result will be a watered-down set of reforms that still leave millions of Americans uninsured and don't slow healthcare costs. This is why Obama has to fight for this so hard over the August recess, why he has to be far more specific about what he wants in the bill, and why he can't afford any more diversions -- like the beer summit, or economic advisers who seem to open the door to middle-class tax increases.
This is the best analysis I have seen. It explains the massive sums of money being spent to try the long shot of killing Universal Health care. Nothing else makes sense.

Then we have a CNN anchor raking, Rick Scott, a major funder and honcho pushing the attack against Universal health car, over the coals for the way his hospital company and had to pay a record fine of $1.2 billion. Yes, that is billion with a "B." Scott is a key individual pushing the attack against universal health cafe.

These same anti-health care Republicans are feeding reports to their paid media stooges, Lou Dobbs and FOX news among others.

Freedom Works is another ultra right-wing organization behind the attack on universal health care.

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