Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The ads will just write themselves

Remember these lines?
"No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people. If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what."
Byron York predicts that such speeches that Obama said over and over and over during the debates over his health care bill will come back to haunt him. As the Republicans push for repeal of the law, all they will have to do is to sell repeal is run a series of ads with Obama saying that paragraph and then run the story du jour of counter-examples. York summarizes several of those examples.
For example, we know that the government's Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has found that the new law will increase health care costs, rather than reduce them, in the coming decade. We know that cuts in Medicare, with the money saved going to pay for expanding coverage to the poor, will jeopardize seniors' access to care. We know the law will make it impossibly expensive for companies that currently offer bare-bones health coverage to low-income employees to keep doing so. We know several corporations are taking giant write-downs because the bill will increase the cost of providing prescription drug coverage to retired employees. And perhaps most important, we know the law offers an enormous incentive for employers who currently provide coverage to workers to stop doing so, sending those workers to buy coverage in government-subsidized health care exchanges.
These stories will increase. Remember, we're less than a year out from passage of the bill. Such deleterious effects will multiply.

A series of ads that start out with Obama's words and then a report on the latest contradiction to his predictions would be powerful. People will grow sick of hearing his voice making that promise over and over. Just as they grow sick of hearing how his signature measure is changing their health care for the worse.