Pro- and Anti-Health Reform Groups Wage Last Minute Attacks
Los Angeles Times: The protest "will be followed in coming weeks by more events and an advertising campaign." The protest's union backers "are also targeting Senate Democrats who are opposed to using the parliamentary tactic of reconciliation, which prevents filibusters. Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) is one such lawmaker. She is being challenged in this year's primary by a more liberal Democrat, and the unions are actively supporting the challenger" (Geiger, 3/10).
Roll Call: "A number of those at the protest said they wanted to show there is energy and commitment for health care reform despite the attention paid to health care opponents, such as members of the tea party. ... One group of young people came as fat-cat insurance executives, wearing suits, top hats and smoking cigars. They sported signs reading 'United Wealth Care' and 'Inhumana,' spoofing the well-known health care companies United Healthcare and Humana" (Roth, 3/10).
Meanwhile, business groups that oppose the overhaul are gathering steam and buying ad space to push their view, according to The Wall Street Journal. A U.S. Chamber of Commerce-backed group, Employers for a Healthy Economy will "run between $4 million and $10 million of ads targeting the districts of several dozen Democratic lawmakers, carrying the message that the bill would cause job losses" (McKinnon and Mullins, 3/10).
USA Today: "At the same time, the health insurance industry as soon as today will begin airing ads of its own on cable TV networks. Those ads, by America's Health Insurance Plans, aim to blunt White House criticism of insurance companies for raising rates. 'Doctors, hospitals, medicines and tests' drive up health care costs, not insurance companies, the ads say. The group will not say how much it's spending on the ads beyond that it is at least $1 million" (Hall, 3/9). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.