With the House already on break and the Senate readying for the August recess, the health care debate has moved to the court of public opinion, the New York Times reports. Both sides are launching campaign tours and waves of TV ads, with Democrats attacking the insurance industry and Republicans calling Democratic proposals expensive and ineffective. The post-August public mood is expected to reshape the debate in Washington.
Democrats have begun speaking of “health insurance reform” rather than “health care reform,” with upcoming ads focusing on unpopular practices like refusing patients with pre-existing conditions. “Our job is to help folks understand how this will help them,” says White House adviser David Axelrod. But such tactics will likely anger the insurance industry, which says it supports reform, but not a public option. One top industry group is urging members to confront Democrats at campaign events.