Coalition of Liberal, Rights Groups Attacks McCain Health Care Plan
By Ed O'Keefe
Health Care for America Now, a coalition of liberal, labor, women's and Latino groups, has released a new ad critical of health care proposals put forth by John McCain and several Republican congressional candidates. HCAN will spend $4.3 million to air radio and television ads in the next two weeks against McCain and Sen. John Sununu (N.H.), Reps. Ric Keller (Fla.), Randy Kuhl (N.Y.), Tim Walberg (Mich.) and GOP candidates Blaine Luetkemeyer (Mo.), Marty Ozinga (Ill.) and Erik Paulsen (Minn.).
"I've never faced an enemy like cancer," says the woman in the ad. "But it's OK. I'm a fighter. Under John McCain's health care plan, 20 million could lose their insurance at work -- I could be one of them. And with a pre-existing condition like cancer, I couldn't get coverage on my own. He wants me to fight cancer and the insurance companies? Fine. I'll take you both on."
As The Post's Fact Checker reports, McCain has pledged to give American families a $5,000 tax credit to allow them to buy their own health insurance, but he rarely mentions that he has also proposed taxing employer-provided health benefits, which would eat up most of the extra income from the tax credit.
The McCain ad will air on national cable networks and on broadcast stations in Ohio. The Congressional ads will air during local cable ad breaks and on broadcast stations. The coalition will spend another $500,000 on direct mail and phone outreach in the next two weeks, according to a release.
Health Care for America Now launched in July and represents the interests of several groups: ACORN, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Americans United for Change, Campaign for America's Future, Center for American Progress Action Fund, Center for Community Change, MoveOn.org, National Council of La Raza, National Education Association, National Women's Law Center, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), United Food and Commercial Workers, and USAction.
Several of the groups have worked together on other issues this cycle, including immigration and opposition to the Iraq war. MoveOn, Planned Parenthood and the SEIU have all aired anti-McCain ads in the last 10 days. This week the SEIU and the Obama campaign have also aired ads critical of McCain's health care proposals.
In response, RNC spokesman Amber Wilkerson said "Barack Obama and his supporters continue to lie about John McCain's proposals, which would actually lower health insurance costs and provide a dramatic increase in coverage for vulnerable Americans."
Posted at 5:47 PM ET on Oct 8, 2008
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