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GOP fires off warning on health care

From NBC's Mark Murray
The House Republican campaign committee has fired off a memo with this warning to Democrats: Vote for the health-care bill they introduced today and risk losing your majority in Congress in 2010.

Drawing on the recent polls (including our NBC/WSJ survey) showing public concerns about the rising deficit and the government's takeover of GM, the memo says, "Democrats have made no secret about it. They want to do to the health-care industry what they have done for auto companies and the banking industry. Only this time, they want to finance it with 'secret' tax hikes that have been rumored to be coming at the expense of seniors and Medicare."

Video: While Democrats on Capitol Hill are trying to trim billions out of their health care reform bill, the GOP is using the hefty estimate as another chance to slam their opposition for their "habit of spending in Washington." A political panel discusses the GOP's tactic and whether it will work.

The memo adds, "If the American public overwhelmingly disapproves of a government takeover of an auto company or bank, how do you think they will react to a government takeover of their health-care destiny that will raise their taxes, cost them more money and threaten their doctor-patient relationship?"

Well, on that last question, the NBC/WSJ poll shows that a whopping 76% support having the choice of a public/government alternative to private health insurance. (But it also shows that 47% of people who have private health insurance believe that their employer will drop their plan if there is a public option.)

As what happened in 1993-94, health care could very imperil the Democrats' majority in the House (although the GOP picking up some 40 seats to take back control in 2010 will be a TOUGH task). But this question could also be turned around: What happens if health care passes (with few or no House GOP votes) and the economy begins to pick up steam come the summer of 2010? Who's imperiled then?