As Think Progress noted, Jon Kyl admitted the Republicans strategy of not using the term "free market" health care and to instead use "hollow buzzwords" as prescribed by Frank Luntz. Exhibit A---Rep. Charles Boustany on Fox News the other day. Let's see how well he follow's Luntz's advice, shall we?
Wilson: You know I think we all probably can agree that health care is broken in some form and needs to be fixed, but many are the opinions about how you might go about that. The Obama administration is about to lay down a pretty radical plan for changing it. Is it a good plan or a bad plan in your estimation?
Boustany: Well first of all as a physician with nearly, over twenty years experience taking care of patients, often times the sickest patients as a heart surgeon, yes, we have a lot of things we need to do to make the health care system much more efficient to help patients and small business owners and families. I disagree with what the President is proposing.
Let me say what we believe should be done first and foremost. First I think it's very important that if you like what you have in terms of health care coverage then you should be able to keep it. And secondly, we need to put real emphasis on the doctor patient relationship because that's what's going to maintain quality and lower costs.
Wilson: You know I want to raise this question with you because I keep hearing from seniors, my own mom for example, has insurance, but it's Medicare supplemental insurance and I'm hearing from many seniors right now that they can't get a doctor to look at them because none of the doctors want to take Medicare. They think it's stupidly low, it's not worth their time and they're simply refusing to see elderly patients. There's something seriously wrong with a system where that is allowed to happen.
Boustany: Brian that is a real fundamental problem right now in the health care system that we have today. Particularly for Medicare patients, Medicaid patients and even some in private insurance. There's a real access problem. And having a card that just says you have insurance or coverage doesn't necessarily mean that you have access to a physician to develop a quality working relationship that will emphasize prevention, and screening, disease management. Those are the things that are going to lower costs and also enhance quality.
Wilson: Can that be fixed? Because I mean really that would seem to be one of the most pressing needs we have right now.
Boustany: Well I'm absolutely convinced it can be fixed and not at the cost that President Obama and some Democrats are proposing by creating a whole new government program which is going to be extremely expensive. I believe we have a variety of ways that can fix this and that's what Republicans are proposing.
Wilson: I'm a twenty three veteran of this town. I can't tell you the number of times I've seen Congress and an administration try to tackle the problem of health care and it's never really worked. Is something going to happen this time?
Boustany: I think there's a lot of momentum this time and I know Republicans are different in that we want to approach this debate in a very constructive way with real good substantive and practical ideas. How to lower the cost and enhance quality for the families and create solutions for American families and small businesses.