Washington Report

Dispatches from Capitol Hill

Steele on Healthcare Reform: Stall, Delay, or Just Say No

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Michael Steele

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is encouraging GOP lawmakers to do whatever they can to delay or stop healthcare reform.

“I urge everyone to spend every bit of capital and energy you have to stop this health care reform,” Steele wrote in a memo issued Thursday. “The Democrats have accused us of trying to delay, stall, slow down, and stop this bill. They are right. We do want to delay, stall, slow down, and ultimately stop them from experimenting on our nation’s healthcare. And guess what, so do a majority of Americans.”

Steele pointed to a recent Rasmussen poll in which 51% said they’re opposed to the “Obama-Pelosi-Reid” healthcare bill; 57% believe costs will go up; and 54% believe the quality of their healthcare will worsen. He also said that 68% of Americans want President Obama and Congress to focus on the economy before tackling healthcare.

“Looking at the mood of the American electorate, the strategy in the healthcare debate is clear,” Steele wrote. “All we need to do is add our voice and amplify the chorus of Americans urging President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats to slow down their healthcare experiment and focus on jobs and growing the economy.”

A CBS/New York Times Poll released on Dec. 9, however, found that 42% of respondents believe that proposed reforms would have no effect on them, while 34% said they would be harmed.

In a statement, Democratic National Committee Press Secretary Hari Sevugan said, “With this memo and Senator Judd Gregg’s obstruction manual, Republicans have laid their cards on the table and made explicit that their intention, their singular goal, is obstructing the president’s agenda for the sake of politics no matter how high the price for the American people. … Republicans are obstructing progress for the benefit of themselves and their special interest allies. If they think that’s a winning proposition, they are in for a world of hurt.”

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