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Ad Watch: Cardboard Cutouts Airing In Iowa

There are three new TV ads running in Iowa targeting the Democratic frontrunners -- Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Barack Obama -- on the issue of health care. The ads were paid for by the California Nurses Association, and Physicians for a National Health Program, two groups pushing for a single-payer health care system.

Each ad starts with a person speaking directly into the camera, asking why the nation's health care system is so confusing, and advocating for the single-payer system. It ends with each person directing their final thoughts to a cardboard cut-out of Clinton, Edwards, and Obama, respectively.

Watch the ads below. Our colleague Chris ("The Fix") Cillizza considers these ads among the "winners" of Sunday's Democratic presidential debate on ABC.

The Clinton Ad

The Edwards Ad

The Obama Ad

By Ed O'Keefe |  August 20, 2007; 12:43 PM ET Ad Watch , Barack Obama , Hillary Rodham Clinton , John Edwards
Previous: Ad Watch: Anti-War Ads Target College Students | Next: Ad Watch: Romney on the Radio

Comments

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I am not sure that I completely agree with these ads. How do you go about changing our failed health care system? I am all for a single payer system but how to get there is the question. With one law that suddenly elimnates private insurers? That could be fraught with unintended consequences. I think setting up a government insurance program and allowing it to compete with the insurers is the first step. Then as the government system out performs the private insurers, it will be the natural step to move to a single payer plan. Obama's plan could work this way and perhaps Edwards' as good first steps. Clinton has no plan at all. I think they should target Clinton and not the other two on this.

Posted by: Len | August 20, 2007 1:52 PM

The only candidate with a real single-payer plan is Kucinich. Edwards, for all his talk, is ... just talk.

The only other person I'd trust on this issue is Ron Paul. And while I'm deeply skeptical of a free market solution, at least Ron Paul would go for a true freemarket solution that would allow for real bargaining with insurance companies and limit the power of corporations where they trounce the liberties of individuals.

Obama, Edwards and Clinton are all flacks for sold-out mediocrity. Their rhetoric , where it appeals, is simply their pandering to what is politically convenient.

Posted by: Matt | August 20, 2007 2:12 PM

I'm so glad that I watched the debate last night so that I could learn that Kucinich is the only candidate advocating a true single-payor system. Why should Americans not have this type of system? Because it's been a really long time that we haven't had it? I don't agree with that.

No one has convinced me that health care can't be like education. Every American is entitled to a public school education, and those who choose to, who believe that private is better, can opt to pay for their children to attend private school. Why aren't all Americans entitled to public health care? And if some choose to pay for private health care or private insurance, they can sure do so.

I have not chosen a candidate, but as an active Iowa Democrat, I will need to do so fairly soon. I hope that the viable candidates develop more satisfying health care plans!!

Posted by: Katherine | August 20, 2007 4:22 PM

To improve and simplifly health care in the US, we must first make simple, clear changes that everyone understands to be in their own interest.
Paperwork eats up a huge amount of money. Different health care providers, medical systems, HMOs, insurance companies, and other health care providers and payers all use different forms. This leads to a tremendous amount of confusion and waste. Standard forms would give us a simpler, less confusing, more efficient system.
Next, voters must be educated to the importance of public health. many people do not realize that innoculations protect us all, by providing a barrier to the spread of infectious diseases. There will always be those, newborns, elderly, or those who are ill and have compromized immune systems, who are very vulnerable to onfectious diseases. They especially, but all of us, are protected by the fact that we are surrounded by others who, due to their innoculations, cannot get and transmit those infections, serve as a barrier to their spread. So it is in all our interests for there to be a national agency which provides and records basic innoculations for everyone in the country, whether they are citizens, resident aliens, visitors, or those on student visas. Free innoculations for everyone, even transient visitors and illegal aliens, would protect us all at little expense compared to the cost of fighting these diseases. Public health clinics in every city and town could provide these services and also monitor other infectious illnesses, providing the CDC with consistant, 'on the street' information and also providing a nationwide first line of defense against epidemics or biological warfare.
This is an old idea. Many American cities and towns used to have public health clinics and well-baby clinics. We have actually gone backward, and need to move forward again.

Posted by: Susan | August 21, 2007 12:06 PM

For more information, Len, may I suggest www.pnhp.org or my blog cmhmd.blogspot.com

Cheers

Posted by: cmhmd | August 21, 2007 12:49 PM

We need to get off the "for profit health care" created by thhis administration. When did we go from helping people, to, how much more can we get out of this, crap. I understand it can be expensive, but $1500 a night for a hospital bed, is in my mind, unfathomable. I've had doctors I've never seen, talk to, or had anything to do with during my stay at a hospital, show up on my bill for $100s of dollars, and all he did was walk in and sign the clipboard at the end of my bed.
Nice scam!!!!!!!!
It can be done, but greed is getting in the way. Pure and simple!

Posted by: jime | August 21, 2007 12:56 PM

For more information, Len, may I suggest www.pnhp.org or my blog cmhmd.blogspot.com

Cheers

Posted by: cmhmd | August 21, 2007 1:34 PM

As a conservative, I'm in a minority here. However, I do agree with most of what these ads suggest. I also agree with what Susan wrote about public health. My wife is a public health nurse and often bemoans how much of her time is spent doing unnecessarily complex paperwork while money could be better spent on the streets of our cities and towns. I do have some concerns with a single payer system though. One is that while the current system is broken and expensive, a new system would have to be carefully implemented or it could become much more expensive than advertized and more of a burden on the national debt if congress is unable or unwilling to raise taxes as a result. At least bills are paid in the current system. Ridiculously expensive though they may be, they mostly aren't left for another generation to pay. The other concern is that the government may begin to make health decisions for those covered (to a greater extent than insurance companies). For example, forced innoculations to keep people healthy. Penalties for those whose BMI is too high. What if they deny coverage to smokers? The problem is that health touches on every area of our lives and most decisions we make. Basically my concern is that this program, if not carefully implemented and continually monitored, could become an open door to a kind of fascism that would make the Patriot Act look like a pale little sister by comparison. Lastly I would hope that government red tape and inefficiency wouldn't eliminate the savings that should be present in a single payer system. Nationally, the government takes in more money by percentage than the government's share of GNP suggests it should. We need to demand that in the changes that will likely come that there be transparency, equality, as much simplicity as possible, and oversight so that America is best served in the years to come.

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