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Nurses Union Defends Cheney "Dead By Now" Ad

Some might view it as distasteful - Vice President Dick Cheney's office calls it "outrageous" - but a nurses union is sticking by its eye-popping ad running in 10 different Iowa newspapers today. The ad features a cut-out newspaper article about Cheney's latest hospitalization for heart treatment with the boldface words: If he were anyone else, he'd probably be dead by now.

"What's outrageous is we have an administration that sits on its hands while we have 47 million people who are uninsured...This administration has ignored this health care crisis," says Charles Idelson, spokesman for the California Nurses Association and the National Nurses Organizing Committee. "They're indifferent to pain and suffering."

The group is advocating proposed universal government-run health care legislation, one of whose 88 co-sponsors includes Democratic presidential underdog candidate Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio).

A Cheney spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal last week, after word of the ad got out, that "something this outrageous does not warrant a response."

As Idelson points out, "So, actually they did comment." He says his group wanted the vice president - and everyone else for that matter - to be outraged.

"I would hope that they would be," he said, adding, "We actually think the vice president should get quality health care - but let everyone have it."

By Mary Ann Akers  |  December 10, 2007; 5:08 PM ET
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