Health care overhaul leads to ad war

Steve Henn Aug 4, 2009
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Health care overhaul leads to ad war

Steve Henn Aug 4, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

President Obama is spending his 48th birthday today meeting with Democratic senators who leave for their August recess this week. The House has already gone on vacation, which means any health care overhaul
is going to have to wait until the fall. Marketplace’s Steve Henn says that delay opens the way for a health care advertising war, and not everyone is playing fair.


STEVE HENN: Evan Tracy tracks political advertising for the Campaign Media Analysis Group. He says the health care debate is quickly becoming an advertising free for all.

EVAN TRACY: We are at fifty million-plus being spent on television ads so far. We’ve got dozens of different players.

Their messages are all over the map. Tracy says this cacophony favors the bill’s opponents.

TRACY: Because it lends itself to a much more emotional demagoguing message.

Targeted ads on hot-button issues like this…

AD: They won’t pay for my surgery but we’re forced to pay for abortions.

Brooks Jackson at FactCheck.org calls that ad misleading. He says several others attacking the overhaul are simply false.

BROOKS JACKSON: We are now seeing opponents twist and distort things that are not in any legislation.

But with the details of the health care overhaul still being hammered out, Tracy says the public’s confusion about the plan makes it easy to attack.

In Washington, I’m Steve Henn for Marketplace.

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