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Pro-Reform Coalition Launches 2nd Ad

By Ben Pershing
A disparate coalition of interest groups is continuing its multimillion-dollar effort in support of health-care legislation, launching a new ad last week aimed at convincing viewers that reform will help them personally.

The ad, titled "Eight Ways," is being funded by Americans for Stable Quality Care, whose backers include the American Medical Association, FamiliesUSA, the Federation of American Hospitals, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and the Service Employees International Union. ASQC announced two weeks ago that it would spend $12 million on a pro-reform advertising campaign, with the new spot the second to run last month.

The ad outlines "eight ways reform matters to you," explaining that a health-reform bill would pay for preventive care and would let consumers buy and keep their insurance even if they have a preexising condition or get sick. Though it does not endorse any specific reform bill, the spot conveys a message that President Obama and his Democratic allies have sought to emphasize in recent weeks, as polls have suggested that many Americans like their current health insurance and are wary of change.

The ad is airing on national cable as well as local channels in Arkansas, Alaska, Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, Montana, North Dakota, Maine and Virginia.

The message of "Eight Ways" is very similar to that of "Mean for You," the first ad in ASQC's campaign.

By Ben Pershing  |  September 1, 2009; 11:10 AM ET
Categories:  Health Reform  
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States can have their own Public Option, as some already do, like Vermont, but we need a "back-up" Federal public option program, for everybody not covered adequately by State Plans, and for funding and maintaining federal standards.

It is a better idea to keep a State public option paradigm, because many good States have good plans and a public option administrative system infrastructure (it would be a waste to just throw it away) The transition to Federal health care reform could be seamless. People in such States are already familiar with their State Plans. The can only get better, and get more funding with Federal Health Care Reform bill.

Such a plan would disarm the republican charge of Obama's health plan as a giant federal government "take-over" - also people feel they have more control over their State government plans. This does wonders for the trust and "comfort" factor, as people are familiar with their own State systems. For instance, citizens of Mississippi would be more likely to believe elective abortions are not covered under their own State Public Option Plan.

However, we still very much need the existence of a Federal Public Option, in addition to State Programs for several reasons:

(1) as a funding mechanism and fiscal template for the State plans

(2) to insure the States keep their public option health plans up to a Federal Standard. The Federal Public Option Plan acts as a standards establisher and standards enforcer.

(3) to act as a backup for the people in States with no public health plan, or for people in States that have public option plans that don't meet the Federal Public Option coverage standard, and have therefore not received federal funding.

(4) as a public plan for people with no State residency or other special extenuating circumstances. The Federal public option can also cover the DC citizens.

Posted by: ffcaruso | September 1, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

What is missing in the ad is a mandatory cap on the amounts that companies can raise premiums each year. I get my insurance through a professional group and have had to change plans every year because of the exorbitant increases in premiums. At that, I still pay over $7,000 per year for my coverage. Thank God, I'll be eligible for Medicare this spring. Oh, right, it's that Socialist Government plan.

Posted by: jzrcsw | September 1, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

As a Brit who has grown up with a "socialist" health care system I find it difficult to understand why there isn't a general agreement in the US that it cannot be right for people to be treated on the basis of ability to pay rather than need. I can understand that where there are good models already working you need to be careful to preserve the best features. At the moment everyone except the organisations making enormous profits out of the existing system stands to gain from reform.

I seem to remember a politician reacting to Obama's plans by saying that he thought that he had woken up in France. Well if he wanted better health outcomes for less money perhaps that is where he should move.

The British NHS is far from perfect and needs to evolve but as a country we would be horrified and ashamed if we thought anyone was being denied care simply because they were poor.

The foam flecked end of the Republican Party might not get the point but for us our NHS is no more "socialist" than the roads and bridges which are also paid for from general taxation.

Posted by: geoffj | September 2, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Hey everyone, I just finished my review on Dick Morris’ Catastrophe. In it I discuss some of the topics covered in this article. Please check it out: Click Here
Feel free to leave a comment. I especially want to know what this crowd thinks. Any constructive criticism is greatly appreciated.

Posted by: mrcrumb | September 2, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

jeoffj: Great letter. Everyone who disagrees with "socialist" health care should read it. It shoots down the idea that Republicans have been spewing for 40 years; that health care systems in the UK, France, Canada are not working, and are despised by their constituents.

Posted by: nwsjnky1 | September 3, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, geoffj. As an American citizen who has lived in Australia for 12 years, I too can speak from personal experience about the "evils" of socialised medicine. The Australian system is very similar to Canada's -- a single-payor system with the option of private supplemental insurance. The public component is well-run and the private insurance companies are still making money. My family and I receive FIRST-RATE health care.

Posted by: FromOz | September 4, 2009 2:47 AM | Report abuse

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