THE GOP AND THEIR ‘SURVEY’ QUESTIONS…. About a month ago, the Republican National Committee sent out a “survey” (read: fundraising gimmick), telling supporters that it’s “possible” that health care reform would lead to “GOP voters” being “discriminated against for medical treatment.”

The RNC later walked it back, conceding that the claim was “inartfully worded.”

And yet rank-and-file Republicans continue to hear related claims.

Senate Republicans are mailing out a “survey” insinuating that the president’s health care reform agenda includes the creation of a lottery system to determine who gets medical treatment and a quota system that based on race and age.

Written under the vague and non-partisan title of “U.S. Senate Health Care Task Force,” the mailing, which includes a fundraising letter, was commissioned by the National Republican Senatorial Committee and passed to the Huffington Post by a Democratic source.

The latter, written over Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-Texas) signature, suggests health care reform may lead to a “‘lottery’ system of determining who will get priority treatment.” No such idea exists in reality. The same “survey” suggests there may be a “‘quota’ system” in which Americans’ treatment may be limited “on the basis of race or age.”

Cornyn’s correspondence also warns that the federal government may pick who is “eligible” to receive certain medical procedures, pick your doctor for you, and penalize you for “choosing to see a private doctor.”

Why are conservatives so terrified of government action? Why has it become so impossible to have an intelligent policy debate? Because we have letters like this one from people like John Cornyn.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.