Political consultant Dick Morris today recommended John McCain use alarmist distortions to get off the defensive on health care. Morris offered this counsel days after Al Hubbard, architect of President Bush's health care plan now touted by McCain, compared Americans' use of the health care system to shoppers who indiscriminately buy caviar while someone else foots the bill.
Morris alleges Obama wants to insure illegal immigrants because Obama says he aims to cover the 47 million uninsured. Morris cries that this 47 million figure includes uninsured undocumented people. As he put it in his op-ed for the New York Post:
Obama has said, proudly and often, "I am going to give health insurance to 47 million Americans who are now without coverage." But are they "Americans?"
David Cutler, senior health care adviser to the Obama campaign, says Morris's argument flies in the face of the plain language of the Obama plan. He notes that it reads, "My plan begins by covering every American." Cutler added in an email, "That should have been enough for" Morris.
Morris should have done his homework before running his column -- the McCain campaign also uses the 47 million figure, which means the GOP presumptive nominee could be snared in the same trap that Morris wants to lay for his Democratic rival.
If McCain's allies feel like his best hope is to resort to such specious attacks, they must really be worried that health care is going to prove a major weakness come November.