Health Care Ads Leave Washington, Follow Lawmakers Home During BreakRoll Call reports that "several major industry stakeholders" will be "noticeably absent from the advertising airwaves over the July Fourth recess. Though they will continue to keep in touch with Members through meetings and grass roots, AARP, the American Medical Association, America's Health Insurance Plans, the Federation of American Hospitals and AdvaMed all say they are sitting out this recess when it comes to advertising campaigns." Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and White House aides have "warned that any groups that run ads attacking reform efforts before the bills have been crafted would lose their seats at the bargaining table," but the "advocacy ad floodgates" may "open shortly." Until then, "groups are working in a lower-profile way to get their messages across to Members," such as planning in-district meetings with Members and activating grassroots networks.
In addition, "several non-medical industries, including commodities groups and alcoholic beverage companies, which could face a hefty tax increase to help pay for the bill, are expected to advertise against the bill if they're targeted." But some groups aren't waiting: "the union-affiliated Health Care for America Now is spending $1.1 million on television ads during this week's recess, airing spots that encourage voters to press lawmakers to include a public plan in a health care overhaul package" (Ackley, 6/29). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.