Advertising From Interest Groups Ramps Up as Lawmakers Return to Congress To Work on Health Reform
Advertisements from interest groups on health reform have increased in recent days, as the congressional session resumes next week and lawmakers continue to work on reform legislation, the New York Times reports. Spots from Health Care for America Now advocate coverage for all U.S. residents and a public health insurance option. One of the group's ads is airing in Maine and urges viewers to contact Sens. Olympia Snowe (R) and Susan Collins (R) to express support for the public insurance option. The group has spent $200,000 on ads in the last month, according to spokesperson Jacki Schechner.
Business Forward -- a new coalition that includes AT&T, Microsoft and IBM -- is running ads to encourage business executives to work with the Obama administration and congressional lawmakers in "reforming health care" (Pear, New York Times, 5/28). Also, Healthy Economy Now has an ad campaign to support reform efforts (Dann, CongressDaily, 5/27).
Conservatives for Patients' Rights, a group founded by former Hospital Corporation of America CEO Richard Scott, has been airing a 30-minute video on cable networks showing British and Canadian doctors and patients who are not satisfied with their respective countries' health systems. The group is spending $1.2 million on the video and a campaign of short TV spots and earlier this year spent $2.5 million on similar ads, according to spokesperson Keith Appell.
The Americans for Prosperity Foundation has spent $800,000 on television ads in eight states. In its spot, a woman from Canada describes her experience with the Canadian health system and how she ended up receiving treatment in the U.S. According to the Times, similar campaigns "helped sink President Clinton's plan for universal coverage 15 years ago" (New York Times, 5/28).