Why Republicans will defeat Obama on health care

Barack Obama is making an enormous mistake on the most important initiative of his presidency. In recent weeks, Obama has stressed that health care reform is the essential ingredient for the success of his economic recovery plan. Yet the president, easily the most gifted White House communicator since Ronald Reagan, has the message all wrong.

By Byron York
The Examiner

“Our businesses will not be able to compete, our families will not be able to save or spend, our budgets will remain unsustainable unless we get health care costs under control,” Obama said in his radio address Saturday. He has said the same thing on many other occasions, almost always stressing the threat of runaway cost. When Obama talks health care, it’s cost, cost, cost.

But that’s not what people want to hear, or at least not all they want to hear. Of course they complain about the expense of medical treatment, but controlling cost is not their top health care concern.

“Americans will prioritize cost over quality right up until the moment they realize that it’s their quality that they are sacrificing,” writes the Republican pollster Frank Luntz in “The Language of Healthcare 2009,” a brilliant new analysis of the public’s health care concerns that also serves as a roadmap for defeating Obamacare. Basing his conclusions on extensive polling and focus-group research, Luntz writes that the public is very worried that a government takeover of health care — Obamacare — will result in politicians and government bureaucrats making decisions about what kind of care patients will receive and when they will receive it.

“Nothing else turns people against the government takeover of healthcare more than the realistic expectation that it will result in delayed and potentially even denied, treatment, procedures and/or medications,” Luntz writes. “When asked which was a higher priority — spending less on healthcare or being treated in a timely fashion — timely treatment beat cost almost unanimously.”

People know that delayed and sometimes denied care is a way of life in other countries with national health care systems. And when they hear the president’s repeated emphasis on cutting costs, they sense that there’s no way Obamacare can not result in delayed and denied treatment. Luntz urges Republicans to make that the focus of their challenge to the president’s plan. “It is essential that ‘deny’ and ‘denial’ enter the conservative lexicon immediately,” Luntz writes, “because it is at the core of what scares Americans most about a government takeover of healthcare.”

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/W
hy-Republicans-will-defeat-Obama-on-hea
lth-care-45366932.html

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