Steele Struggles To Name His Own Health Care Provider

08/21/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Michael Steele provided a bit of fodder on Tuesday for Democrats trying to frame both him and the GOP as obstructionist forces in the national debate about health care.

The RNC Chairman stumbled during an appearance on CNN on Tuesday when he was asked to name what type of insurance he has and who exactly is his health care provider.

"What company is it?" host Kyra Phillips asked.

"Blue Cross Blue Shield I believe," Steele replied. "Or maybe not. I think it is Blue Cross Blue Shield."

The slip-up was immediately seized upon by the Democratic National Committee, which charged that Steele's hesitation was further evidence that he and the RNC are out of touch and only interested in political warfare when it comes to health care.

"It must be nice to have the luxury of not even knowing the name of your own health care provider, but Michael Steele's comments today, and the Republican strategy of working to kill reform for their own political purposes, is simply insulting to the millions of American families and businesses struggling with soaring health care costs," read a statement from DNC Press Secretary Hari Sevugan.

Sevugan and others seem to be envisioning a repeat of the 2008 campaign moment when Sen. John McCain couldn't remember how many houses he owned. But it's doubtful that Steele's misstep matches that gaffe. Far more people have trouble naming the insurance provider they have than they do listing the houses they own.

Still, it's clear that Democratic partisans aren't shying away from the heat of the health care debate and the weeks ahead could be the first true test of how well the remnants of the Obama campaign still operate in a fiercely contested political battle.

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