I really liked what Republican pollster Bill McInturff had to say about the GOP approach to health reform in the mid-term elections. He’s saying that candidates would be taking a big huge risk by campaigning with a “repeal and replace” approach to the legislation – and he’s completely correct.
In the interview, McInturff says (to the GOP) that “if you’re for repeal and replace, it means you have to say that every single element of health care is something you disagree with, or at least allows your opponent to characterize your position that way.” Right on, Bill!
Republicans are dreaming if they think voters will uniformly reject each and every one of the provisions of health reform that have already begun to roll out. A lot of voters, for instance, are going to really like that the legislation bars carriers from denying kids coverage because of their pre-existing conditions. And a lot of voters are going to love being able to let their kids ride on their family insurance policy until they turn 27.
So, if anything, Republicans might want to point out the value of some of the passed provisions. If they want to campaign on family values, they should recognize that families value affordable health coverage for their children.
At worst, they might want to note that the legislation almost gets it right and how how they’d improve the legislation. Republicans need to show voters that they have more than one move – that move being “No.”
Voters are tired of roadblocks and gridlock and tactics that make our legislative process move forward at a snail’s pace. It’s already clear that health care costs are going to rise – and it’s also clear that voters don’t believe a Band-Aid approach is going to make a dent in the problem.
Please, GOP, if you must talk, be reasonable. And if you do “talk the talk” then – if you win in November – remember: voters will expect you to “walk the walk.”
Oh – and Democrats? You might want to start talking at all about the legislation you passed.