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RNC Statement Obama and Health Care

WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Robert M. "Mike" Duncan released the following statement today:

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"While Barack Obama campaigns on expanding health care, his chief strategist uses political tactics to push poor people away from care at the University of Chicago Medical Center. This is yet another example of Obama's rhetoric not matching his record and raises serious questions about whether Americans can trust him on this important issue."

Today, The Washington Post Reported That Obama's Chief Strategist Was Hired By Chicago Hospital To Sell The Plan Of Steering Uninsured Away From Its Emergency Room:

To Steer The Poor And Uninsured Away From Its Emergency Rooms, The University Of Chicago Launched A New Initiative To Steer Patients To Neighborhood Clinics. "A few years ago, executives at the prestigious University of Chicago Medical Center were concerned that an increasing number of patients were arriving at their emergency room with what the executives considered to be non-urgent complaints. The visits were costly to the hospital, and many of the patients, coming from the surrounding South Side neighborhood, were poor and uninsured. ... [The hospital] launched an innovative program to steer the patients to existing neighborhood clinics to deal with their health needs."

(Joe Stephens, "Obama Camp Has Many Ties To Wife's Employer," The Washington Post, 8/22/08)

"In December 2006, The Medical Center Hired A Public Relations Firm, ASK Public Strategies, To Help Sell The Urban Health Initiative. ASK Is Co-Owned By [David] Axelrod, Obama's Chief Campaign Strategist."(Joe Stephens, "Obama Camp Has Many Ties To Wife's Employer," The Washington Post, 8/22/08)

-- "ASK Started Work In January 2007; The Next Month, Barack Obama Launched His Campaign."(Joe Stephens, "Obama Camp Has Many Ties To Wife's Employer," The Washington Post, 8/22/08)

While Obama Campaigns On Expanding Health Care, His Chief Strategist Was Using Campaign Tactics To Cover Fewer Poor And Uninsured Chicago Residents:

Axelrod's Firm Recommended Campaign Style Tactics To Support The Initiative. "Axelrod's firm recommended an aggressive promotional effort modeled on a political campaign -- appoint a campaign manager, conduct focus groups, target messages to specific constituencies, then recruit religious leaders and other third-party 'validators.' They, in turn, would write and submit opinion pieces to Chicago publications."(Joe Stephens, "Obama Camp Has Many Ties To Wife's Employer," The Washington Post, 8/22/08)

Paid for by the Republican National Committee. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

SOURCE Republican National Committee
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