OBAMA & PELOSI Begin Campaign to Demonize Private Insurance Industry
With Republicans mobilizing against the proposed health care overhaul, President Obama, Congressional Democrats and leading advocacy groups are laying the groundwork for an August offensive against the insurance industry as part of a coordinated campaign to sell the public on the need for reform.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi outlined a doubled-edged message for selling health care reform in August: one part pro-consumer and the second, attacking the health insurance industry with the same passion she took on George W. Bush’s Social Security privatization plans four years ago.
“The glory days are coming to an end for the health insurance industry in our country,” Pelosi told reporters Friday afternoon.
“This is about inoculating against misrepresentations and educating about what is in the bill,” she said. “We all want bipartisanship… but you’re either with the insurance companies or you’re for something new.” …
“We know what we are going to be up against,” the speaker said. “We have no illusions about what they are willing to do and how much they want to misrepresent.”
“Health Insurance Reform To Hold Insurance Companies Accountable” is the title of pocket cards issued to Democratic members going home for the recess…
But, please don’t call them socialists.
And, please don’t refer to their plan as government run health care.
UPDATE: The National Association of Health Underwriters responded to Pelosi’s attacks:
Vice President of Public Relations
National Association of Health Underwriters
ARLINGTON, Va. (August 3) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently criticized private health insurers, calling them “villains” in the health care reform effort. In response, Janet Trautwein, CEO of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU), which represents more than 100,000 licensed health insurance agents, brokers, consultants and benefit professionals nationwide, issued the following statement:
“It’s unfortunate that Speaker Pelosi has resorted to petty name-calling in the debate over health care reform. We all have a stake in achieving meaningful reform that both preserves Americans’ freedom to choose their doctors and lowers long-term health care costs. A public option will accomplish neither.
“A new government-run health plan will raise costs for Americans with private insurance. By systematically underpaying doctors and hospitals, our country’s existing public plans — Medicare and Medicaid — raise the average family’s premiums by $1,800 a year. A public option will only exacerbate this problem — and make insurance more expensive.”