‘Try Not To Mention Obama’ – Congressional Progressive Caucus Foundation Publishes Socialized Medicine Talking Points Manual

October 15, 2009

Founding Bloggers has dedicated many a post to the subject of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the political arm of the Socialist International’s DSA.

Like many organizations, the Congressional Progressive Caucus has its very own 501(c)3 foundation.

A couple of months ago, the CPC Foundation published a talking points memo/guide on what to say and what NOT to say when discussing socialized medicine.

With the Campaign for America’s Future, HCAN, Media Matters, Third Way and others, we have created a one-stop messaging resource to help progressives understand and talk about healthcare reform.

Below are a few excerpts from the publication which are worth your attention, like this chart of words and phrases you should use and avoid:

They also feature this really neat chart to demonstrate why we need to nationalize health care, complete with demonization of evil CEO’s:

Also included in the guide is this handy demonization of Republicans:

The Republicans are intent on playing politics with
American lives so they can “break” President Obama. But
before Americans listen to obstructionist fear-mongering
about the “costs” of health care reform, we must understand
the costs – to us – of the “Republican Plan” of preventing
real reform from happening.

In the first sentence they fear monger about anyone who would dare posses an alternative opinion as “playing politics with American lives”, and then in the very next sentence they accuse Republicans of fear-mongering.

The booklet also contains more detailed lists of what to say and what NOT to say:

Phrases to Use:

1. “Health care reform will be a uniquely
American solution.”

• It will deliver security and stability to
middle America.
• You will get stable coverage you can count on.
• If you fall ill, your premiums won’t go up just
because you’re sick.
• If you can’t afford your insurance, you’ll get help
with your premiums.
• If you run a small business, you’ll get tax breaks
to buy coverage for you and your workers.
• You will have the peace of mind of knowing
you can always get the care you need, when you
need it from the doctors you choose.
(These are all from Herndon Alliance)

2. “It’s time to stop playing politics and solve the health
care crisis.” This is more effective than talking about
bipartisanship and taps into the solution-oriented frame.

Don’ts Include:

Politically polarizing language:

1. All references to President Obama tend to be
While Democratic dials soar when his
name is mentioned, Republican dials head south, with
independent dials flattening out. If President Obama
is mentioned, use his name AFTER the strong and
less polarizing message language so people don’t tune
out our core message.

Wow! Try not to mention Obama?? They must feel the president’s negatives are so high that his name is radioactive to anyone other than those on the Left.

2. Talking about Republican failures to address the
health care crisis is polarizing.

Have they read the rest of their own guide? That’s at least half of what they do in this publication.

3. Phrases like “unregulated greed” to describe insurance
companies are polarizing. A reference to “excessive
profits” is better.

But feel free to demonize “greedy” CEO’s

Other Important Don’ts:

1. Don’t say “universal” health care. Talk about “quality,
affordable health care for all.”

2. Don’t compare the U.S. to other countries, or assert
that America does not provide quality health care. (i.e.
Do not cite statistics that say .the U.S. is 37th in the
world in some category of health care delivery).

3. Don’t just say “public plan” because it sounds too much
like “welfare.” Say “Choice of quality, affordable public
health insurance plan.”

4. Don’t just remind people of insurance company
bureaucracy. It is much more effective to invoke the
specter of insurance companies DENYING care based
on an illness you had 5 years ago, or based on your
age or a pre-existing condition.

5. Don’t just say “Bring costs down.” It is better to say “health
care reform will make heath care AFFORDABLE—it will cost
less and you will get more.”

6. One other caution: Talking about access and
health care for all is appealing to Democrats and
independents, but less so for Republicans.


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3 Responses to ‘Try Not To Mention Obama’ – Congressional Progressive Caucus Foundation Publishes Socialized Medicine Talking Points Manual

  1. BackwardsBoy on October 16, 2009 at 9:11 am

    It sure is funny that this bill is still being considered when a clear majority of Americans don’t want it.
    Not funny in a “Ha ha” way, but funny that Dems are directly opposing the peoples’ will.

  2. [...] more about what is heard, so crafting language carefully is essential when building support (and Democrats understand this well). Even though from a technical standpoint the plan does not clearly state that the government will [...]


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