Democrats back away from ObamaCare deficit reduction claims
Do you remember all that talk about deficit reduction that was supposedly going to come as a result of ObamaCare? Democrats are now backing away from it, telling supporters not to talk about the mythical deficit reduction:
Key White House allies are dramatically shifting their attempts to defend health care legislation, abandoning claims that it will reduce costs and deficit, and instead stressing a promise to “improve it.”
The messaging shift was circulated this afternoon on a conference call and PowerPoint presentation organized by FamiliesUSA — one of the central groups in the push for the initial legislation. The call was led by a staffer for the Herndon Alliance, which includes leading labor groups and other health care allies. It was based on polling from three top Democratic pollsters, John Anzalone, Celinda Lake, and Stan Greenberg.
The confidential presentation, available in full here and provided to POLITICO by a source on the call, suggests that Democrats are acknowledging the failure of their predictions that the health care legislation would grow more popular after its passage, as its benefits became clear and rhetoric cooled. Instead, the presentation is designed to win over a skeptical public, and to defend the legislation — and in particular the individual mandate — from a push for repeal.
The presentation concedes that groups typically supportive of Democratic causes — people under 40, non-college educated women, and Hispanic voters — have not been won over by the plan. Indeed, it stresses repeatedly, many are unaware that the legislation has passed, an astonishing shortcoming in the White House’s all-out communications effort.
The presentation also concedes that the fiscal and economic arguments that were the White House’s first and most aggressive sales pitch have essentially failed.
“Many don’t believe health care reform will help the economy,” says one slide.
The presentation’s final page of “Don’ts” counsels against claiming “the law will reduce costs and deficit.”
You can’t convince voters of what didn’t exist in the first place. It’s the same with the false claim that ObamaCare somehow makes Medicare more solvent. Not only that Americans are going to scratch their heads when they see health care premiums continue to rise because of ObamaCare:
Workers will pay more for their health care next year as U.S. companies prepare for provisions of the overhaul signed into law by President Barack Obama, according to a survey released today.
About 63 percent of businesses plan to make employees pay a higher percentage of their premium costs in 2011, said the Washington-based National Business Group on Health, which surveyed 72 companies that employ more than 3.7 million people. The survey showed 46 percent plan to raise the maximum level of out-of-pocket costs that workers must bear.
And with new polling showing that an overwhelming number of voters are going to base their vote on this issue, Democrats can do nothing but run away from it.