Sen. Barrasso: Parroting Tired Republican Rhetoric

June 10, 2009 11:11 am ET

On June 10, 2009, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) appeared on Fox News to discuss health care reform.  Ever the team player, Sen. Barrasso repeated the same Republican talking point that the Democrats' plan for health care reform is a "Washington takeover."

Luntz Travels To Wyoming

Sen. Barrasso: "Their plan is what we know doesn't work in England, doesn't work in Canada - it is a complete Washington takeover of health care." [Fox News, 6/10/09]

Luntz Memo, Rule 5: "You'll notice we recommend the phrase 'government takeover' rather than 'government run' or 'government controlled' It's because too many politician say 'we don't want a government run healthcare system like Canada or Great Britain' without explaining those consequences." [The Language of Healthcare 2009, by Frank Luntz, accessed 5/21/09, emphasis original]

The Democrats' Plan For Health Care Is Competition, Not Takeover

Health Care Reform Will Be Uniquely American.  Sen. Max Baucus, who is spearheading health care reform from the helm of the Senate Finance Committee, said: "We are not Europe.  We are not Canada...We need a uniquely American solution.  It has to be a partnership of public and private players." [Washington Post, 5/11/09]

Sen. Baucus: The Reformed Health Care System "Will Be A Public/Private Hybrid." American Prospect published a quote of Senator Baucus saying: "We need health insurer reform to get rid of preexisting conditions and other ways insurers discriminate. That's part of our plan here, and the CEOs of many larger insurance companies are on board. They know this change is coming. They may lose the current model but they pick up on volume with 46 million people coming into the system...And that will be a public/private hybrid. There may come a time when we can push for single payer. But that time is not yet, and so I'm not going to waste my time." [American Prospect, accessed 3/6/09, emphasis added]

AMA President Nancy Nielson: "Health Care Reform Should Include A Public And Private Mix."  According to the New America Foundation: "Health care reform should include a public and private mix of insurance. The private insurance market must be improved for patients and health care professionals, and the public safety net must be preserved for those in need."  [New America Foundation, 3/10/09, emphasis added]

Fed Up With The Current System, Americans Want Greater Government Oversight In Health Care

More Than 70% Of Americans Polled Want An Increased Governmental Role In Health Care.  According to CNN, "seventy-two percent of those questioned in recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey say they favor increasing the federal government's influence over the country's health care system in an attempt to lower costs and provide health care coverage to more Americans, with 27 percent opposing such a move. Other recent polls show six in 10 think the government should provide health insurance or take responsibility for providing health care to all Americans." [, 3/5/09]

More Than 60% Of Americans Think The Federal Government "Should Guarantee" Health Care For All Americans.  When asked, "Do you think the federal government should guarantee health care for all Americans, or don't you think so?" during a CNN/Opinion Research poll, a majority of Americans, 62 %, said "should guarantee," 38% said "don't think so," and 1% "unsure." [CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll, 5/14-17/09]

The Majority Of Americans Want An Obama-style Mix of Public and Private According to a poll conducted by Lake Research:

  • 60% of Americans favor "providing access to affordable, quality health care for all Americans even if it means raising taxes."
  • 71% of Americans favor "providing access to affordable, quality health care for all Americans even if it means a major role for the federal government."
  • 73% of Americans prefer "having a choice of private health insurance or a public health insurance plan." [Lake Research poll, 01/09]