Millions of dollars shelled out in TV ad war over U.S. healthcare

March 16, 2010

A TV ad war is raging on healthcare legislation. And it’s costing millions of dollars on both sides. USA-HEALTHCARE/OBAMA

The campaign-style messages target Democratic and Republican lawmakers who will decide the fate of the White House-backed measure, and are up for reelection in November.

“Pass health insurance reform now,” declared an ad by Health Care for America Now, a coalition of more than 1,100 groups — including labor, civil rights, children and women. The group announced it had begun airing the spot on Tuesday in selected congressional districts at a cost of $1.4 million.

Also on Tuesday, the House Republican campaign committee announced it had prepared TV ads to run against dozens of wavering House Democrats. The committee said any Democrat who ends up voting yes can expect to be hit quick and hard by a TV ad blitz in their congressional district.

A group of businesses headed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce  is also airing TV ads against the legislation, spending between $4 million and $10 million, according to a spokeswoman. While Moveon.org, a liberal advocacy group that helped Barack Obama win the presidency in 2008, is running ads in support of the measure, spending “in six figures,” an official of the group said.

The House is expected this weekend to decide the fate of  healthcare legislation earlier approved by the Senate.

USA-HEALTHCARE/Polls show most Americans oppose the legislation, denounced by Republicans as a federal government takeover of  healthcare that would increase premiums and reduce consumer choice.

Democrats reject Republican criticism and have been heartened by the fact that surveys find that most Americans support what the legislation seeks to accomplish, like reducing costs, implementing federal regulation of the insurance industry and providing coverage to millions of uninsured Americans.

If the bill ends up becoming law, Obama and other backers hope to build public support for it before Election Day.

Republicans say they don’t see any surge in support and that Democrats who vote for it will pay a political price.

Representative Jerrold Nadler said he and fellow Democrats have a choice.

“If we pass this bill, we will be judged by the results,” Nadler said. “If we don’t pass this bill, we will be judged by the accusations.”

For more Reuters political news, click here

Photo credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas (Obama on TV making speech about healthcare reform), Reuters/Kevin Lamarque (healthcare legislation protesters at the Capitol)

3 comments

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I believe it’s appalling what the Democrats are trying to do! Planning to take a vote this way is underhanded & malicious. I am adamantly against this healthcare bill. Healthcare reform needs to occur, such as abolish state line boundaries, decreased healthcare & insurance costs, abolish precondition clauses, DECREASE the control insurance companies/gov’t has over the healthcare limitations received (ie-an insurance company will NOT pay for preferred med for preventing/treating vaginal yeast infection but does cover Viagra for men), etc. Cost of insurance premiums will probably go up, but even if it went down, taxes will have to be raised to cover it. That’s ridiculous. It’s outrageous to tact on student loans, pork spending or favoritism spending items on any bill, including this one. Obama promised transparency, what he does is FAR from transparent. Obama promised no more pork or favortism spending/promises/favors for votes/etc, & what he does & encourages is far from that. He’s a straight out corrupt liar. I hope everyone of these Democratic legislators are swiftly & unnamiously voted out of office, including this president. America is a GREAT country & this president does nothing but criticize it, put America down, apologize for America, if he & his wife hate America as much as they seem, they should move elsewhere. He’s trying to do everything he can to destroy America. He’s dividing this country by class, color, occupation and every other way he can. He encourages division, racism, “give me give me”. He’s egotistical, racist and I believe a communist/socialist. He’s also encourages & seems to demand corruption in the government & elsewhere in this country. He’s a poor excuse for an American President and the current senate & representatives are a poor excuse for American leadership for the people.

Posted by Jabby | Report as abusive

This is what the insurance companies are doing with your premiums, not helping people be healthy but helping themselves to line their pockets.

Posted by borisjimbo | Report as abusive

All that money wasted when it could be going towards something useful.
Who ever is for change will be for it and who ever is not is not, nothing will make people change their minds now.

Posted by osito3 | Report as abusive