The Chart Is Back

Fifteen years ago in the health care debate, I clearly remember what made it start to turn in the favor of Republicans.  It was a chart.

Drawn up by a staffer for then Republican Senator Arlen Specter, the chart depicted the maze of bureaucracy that would be instituted by the Clinton health care plan.

Senate GOP Leader Bob Dole used it to respond to President Clinton's State of the Union Addresss, and it became a normal prop for Republican lawmakers, as they railed against the "big government" excesses of that plan.

Now I finally feel like the debate has come full circle, because Republicans have another chart, and it has the chance to be just as effective as the one developed back in late 1993 by the Specter staffer.

(By the way, that staffer was a Democrat who had voted for Bill Clinton.  But we digress.)

ajc.com

The latest chart, which can be found at http://docs.house.gov/gopleader/House-Democrats-Health-Plan.pdf  is chock full of great stuff.

It shows the flow between consumers and the various entities that would be set up under this plan, with arrows in multiple colors pointing to big boxes, circles, squares, octagons, rectangles, triangles and more.

Soon after it appeared on Drudge yesterday, I saw it on the House floor.  That poster board will probably get a big workout in the next few days.

There are boxes for "Federal Mandates for Website Design (I didn't find that one in the actual bill), "Accountable Care Organization," "Office of Minority Health," and on and on.

When you think about strategy right now, the big cards for Republicans are pretty obvious - you attack on the complexity and bureaucracy of the plan, as well as on the cost and the taxes needed.

Those items really hold the key for opponents of the plan.

So if you see "The Chart," don't be surprised.

About the Author