A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

More Health Care Ads?

So now that President Obama is set to sign this health care bill into law, you won’t have to hear all kinds of claims about it, right? Well, not so fast. The end of the health care ad wars isn’t here yet.
Liberals are getting in the first shots — praising Democratic House members who voted their way, and attacking at least one Republican who didn’t. But we suspect there’s much more to come. Republicans are vowing to make the vote a major issue in the midterm elections in November.

All Those in Favor…

Keeping up with ads about the pending health care overhaul legislation, pro and con, is like trying to fill one’s glass from the proverbial fire hose. Today, we bring you three ads from groups that are urging passage of the bill, each of which needs a little context or correction.
First up is one from Americans for Stable Quality Care, which is an agglomeration of pro-overhaul organizations such as the American Medical Association, the Service Employees International Union and the Pharmaceutical Research Manufacturers Association.

More Pre-Summit Hype

A group partly supported by the Service Employees International Union is out with an ad that criticizes insurance companies and asks: "If health reform fails THEN what?" The Foundation for Patients’ Rights TV spot highlights the well-publicized rate-hike (as high as 39 percent) that had been planned by California’s Anthem Blue Cross — and which was postponed after public criticism from the Obama administration. But the ad also includes this shaky claim about the insurance industry: "2.7 million Americans were denied coverage"

Health Care and the Economy

Would the House-passed health care bill make a tough economy worse and wipe out more jobs, as claimed in a TV ad from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce? Or would it help small business and encourage economic growth, as claimed in an ad sponsored by a big labor union …

Cadillac Plans and the Middle Class

The liberal group Health Care for America Now is airing an ad that argues against a tax on high-cost employer-provided health care plans, a revenue-raising aspect of the Senate Finance Committee bill. "Some senators say they want to tax so-called ‘Cadillac’ health care plans, but those proposals will also tax the benefits of millions of middle class workers," the narrator says as an on-screen graphic pops up, claiming "40% tax on health care benefits of middle-class workers."

TGIF

President Obama’s unexpected Nobel Peace Prize may end up being the story of the week, but it was the third-party groups that occupied most of our attention here at FactCheck.org. Once again, health care dominated the discussion, though we also saw some new ads on taxes and on climate change.
We’ve seen both sides making false claims about Medicare. This week it was the conservative group Americans for Prosperity leading with the alarming claim that "Medicare will be bankrupt in 8 years."

Targeting Ensign

We’re not ones to doubt that money can influence politics. But uncovering a paying-for-favors scandal takes more than a mere list of campaign contributions and a few committee votes.
That tactic, however, is being used – again – in the health care debate, this time in an ad from the liberal group Health Care for America Now. HCAN’s TV spot, which will run in Reno and Las Vegas for one week on a $110,000 buy, draws a link between Republican Sen.

62%: Conventional Wisdom or “Dubious Research”?

The liberal group Health Care for America Now has come out with another ad attacking the health insurance industry. The ad is running as part of a million dollar ad buy, according to the group. It repeats a claim that is being made repeatedly as the debate over overhauling the health care system heats up.

The ad says "62 percent of personal bankruptcies are caused by medical debt," and the group’s backup points to a study conducted by Harvard researchers,

Denial of Claims

Insurance companies aren’t very popular these days, and it’s certainly not too difficult to dig up a horror story or two of how a patient’s medical claim was denied unfairly. But do companies really "deny payment for 1 out of every 5 treatments doctors prescribe," as a new ad says?
Health Care for America NOW, a liberal group supporting health care overhaul efforts in Congress, makes the claim in a new ad campaign:

The ad, airing for two weeks on national cable,

Recycled Health Care Ad

A coalition of liberal and union groups called Health Care for America Now has announced the release of two television ads and several print ads thanking Democratic senators and members of Congress for supporting President Obama’s health care plan. The two television ads laud Sens. Harry Reid of Nevada and Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and will run in each senator’s home state for five days, according to a press release from the group. Here’s the one congratulating Reid:

If the ad looks familiar,