Senator Ron Wyden's annoying insistence that Democrats not lie to the American people about health care reform is causing trouble for the party leadership again. His office was not happy with a new talking point sent out by the leadership, falsely claiming that if you don't like your current health insurance you would be offered a new, affordable choice.
That drew a quick rebuttal, not from Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, but from Wyden’s Communications Director Jen Hoelzer. Here's what she sent to 490 Democratic Communicators:
I just wanted to flag for colleagues that their bosses should be careful using the talking point that under the Dem bill, Americans who don’t like the coverage they have, will be able to choose something else. As CBO Director Elmendorf indicated last week, under the current legislation, seven years after implementation, more than 90 percent of Americans will remain barred from shopping for insurance in the exchange. This means that not only will MOST Americans be stuck with the coverage they have – whether they like it or not – if reform establishes a public option, more than 90 percent of Americans won’t be able to choose it. As many of you know, this is why Senator Wyden has been fighting so hard to get his Free Choose proposal into the bill, so that we can tell our constituents that if you don’t like the coverage they have, they can choose something better. But right now, that’s not the case. Let me know if you have any questions. Jen
Will Harry Reid bring the hammer down on Wyden for stepping out of line, like he did on Chuck Schumer for publicly saying it would be Reid's fault if the Senate bill lacked a public option:
They even printed out a copy of the Maddow transcript so that Reid could read it back to Schumer, a person familiar with the situation told POLITICO.
Reid, who has never been shy about jabbing Schumer when the aggressive New York Democrat oversteps, eventually caught up with Schumer on the Senate floor Wednesday and asked him about the quotes.
Later in the week, Reid described the exchange as amenable [sic] — while making clear he was the boss.
“Any conversation I’ve had with Sen. Schumer about health care, including “The Rachel Maddow Show,” has been of a positive nature,” Reid told reporters. “Sen. Schumer is entitled to his own opinion.”
You hear that Wyden? Be prepared for Reid's wrath. You better get in line or Reid may sternly read notes to you and make snide comments behind your back.