Ben Smith at Politico is reporting that liberal groups like AARP, SEIU, the AFL-CIO, and Families USA are reworking their health care messaging in an attempt to turn public opinion in favor of President Obama’s new health care law.
The messaging shift was circulated this afternoon on a conference call and PowerPoint presentation organized by Families USA — one of the central groups in the push for the initial legislation. The call was led by a staffer for the Herndon Alliance, which includes leading labor groups and other health care allies. It was based on polling from three top Democratic pollsters, John Anzalone, Celinda Lake and Stan Greenberg.
Interestingly enough, the presentation urges proponents of the new health care law to avoid touting it as a way to lower the deficit and reduce overall health care costs.
The presentation also concedes that the fiscal and economic arguments that were the White House’s first and most aggressive sales pitch have essentially failed.
“Many don’t believe health care reform will help the economy,” reads another slide.
The presentation’s final page of “Don’ts” counsels against claiming “the law will reduce costs and [the] deficit.”
Opinion polls regarding the health care law have never been on the Democrats’ side. But this news represents and all-out retreat from President Obama’s policy centerpiece.