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War Of Words On Health Reform

The message war on health care continues unabated.

A new memo by Democratic pollster Celinda Lake and the Herndon Alliance, a liberal group that backs a sweeping health care overhaul, urges advocates to emphasize that Democratic plans offer “an American solution” that will provide “peace of mind” and “choice” of insurance plans and physicians.

The memo, dated June 3, was based on an online survey of 1,200 participants who used dials to react to phrases used by supporters and opponents of a health care overhaul. The groups conducted the survey after pollster Frank Luntz released a memo urging fellow Republicans to portray a health care revamping as a takeover by “Washington bureaucrats” that would compel patients to “stand in line” for care. The Lake memo isn’t the first from a Democratic point of view; strategist Paul Begala wrote his own plan to counter the Luntz talking points as well.

The Lake memo says the most effective Republican message is “delayed care is denied care,” and that it should be forcefully rebutted.