Health Reform Ads Confusing Public, News Outlets Try To Dispel The Fog
Advertising on the health care debate, more than $100 million of it spent so far, is offering little understanding on the issue as the dueling sides and media look to dispel myths about what's true and what's not.
The New York Times' Prescriptions blog: "Nearly $100 million has been spent this year on commercials intended to influence the health care debate, including $30 million in August alone, according to Evan Tracey, founder of the Campaign Media Analysis Group, a research firm in Arlington, Va. 'In just the last 60 days, 49 different groups have aired nearly 100,000 TV commercials about federal health care policy,' Mr. Tracey wrote recently in the trade publication Advertising Age.
"But, he added, the 'patchwork of messages' from organizations with competing agendas has made it more difficult for those groups to influence viewers. And it has left the public more confused than informed." In August opponents of reform outspent supporters, but that dynamic has not switched, The Times reports (Seelye, 9/23).
Politifact continues to examine claims in ads and statements by politicians about health care and finds many of them "false" or "half-true." The fact-checking Web site rates a claim by Health Care For America Now that one out of five insurance claims is denied as "False."
McClatchy Newspapers/The Kansas City Star tries to address some of the misinformation in advertising with a Q&A on reform efforts. "Three House committees and the Senate Health committee have finished writing their versions of legislation. Yet to come is a bill from the Senate Finance Committee. But even when there's legislation to examine, respected analysts disagree on its meaning" McClatchy offers answers to questions that have relative consensus on topics like co-ops, a public option and keeping the coverage you have now (Lightman, 9/23).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.