August 4, 2009

Rep. Pete King does his best to fudge a few polls and claims that health care reform is not a major issue among the American people, and manages to get in a few Frank Luntz talking points while he's at it.

King: I think it's pretty clear that over the last month momentum has swung in our favor, but you know, we have to avoid too much hubris. We have to avoid I believe, going for the kill. What we have to do is make our case, try to make it cogently and effectively that the President has over reached, that he is attempting to totally reform, or change the health care system without really an idea of where he wants to take it.

I mean there are four, five different proposals out there and you know, this is not a major issue among the American people. The last poll showed 14% showed health care as being a major issue, yet, this can have a real impact on the American people, so that's why they feel, I think this is a metaphor for the President having gone too far too fast, and really not lived up to his campaign promises of governing from the center.

What we have to avoid, acting as if we won this battle. Right now the voters are turning somewhat against Barack Obama. It doesn't mean they're coming toward us. We have to play this, I believe, very effectively, but not be going for the kill. We're just laying out our plan and why we think the President's wrong.

Watson: Congressman, can we push you on that though? Because that's, I mean, when you just said is fairly provocative to say the least. The polls I've seen say that north of sixty percent of the voters think that this is an important issue that needs to be addressed and in fact, no less than a conservative stalwart Robert Bennett, the Senator from Utah says that Republicans among others are going to pay the price at the ballot box if there isn't major health care reform. He disagrees with President Obama on what it should look like, but he says that it is a must, and you say that this is not a critical issue? Are you saying that major health care legislation doesn't need to get passed this fall?

King: No, what I'm saying is when you ask the American people what's the most important issues to them, health care reform does not rank high. Now if you ask Americans, do they want health care reform, they would say yes, but then when you talk about what health care reform means, it's what I believe President Obama wants. I think there's approximately, maybe ten to fifteen million people who are not going to have health insurance under any circumstances. We should be focused on them. We should also be looking at issues like portability, where you can take your insurance from one company to another, where we would give subsidies to those who really can't afford it. We would allow small businesses to form consortia so they can get better rates on insurance policies, but not this over all government plan. I still believe we have the best health care system in the world. We can adjust it and modify it, but not radically change it the way the President wants to.

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