IN THE NEWS: Health Reform Ads Actually Worth Watching
As health reform draws closer to the goal line, efforts to influence the debate have never been fiercer. Lobbying from health care groups is proceeding at a record pace, and everyday seems bring a new crop of ads. In fact, the most recent Kaiser Health tracking poll showed that over half of all Americans (54 percent) had seen, heard, or read an ad in the past week having to do with health reform -- up more than 30 points from June. Of those who’d seen an ad in the past week, 35 percent saw ads in favor of passing reform, 29 percent saw ads opposed, and 29 saw both.
While it’s hard to keep track of the ad wars, two recent productions caught our attention.
The first comes from Americans for Stable Quality Care, a diverse coalition of health care industries and providers, “who share the common belief that all Americans deserve access to stable quality health care.” The ad is titled "House."
“House” is probably the best broadly pro-health reform ad we’ve seen because it says it all, without having to say anything. Instead, the stark images of a middle-aged man selling his house to pay for his wife’s medical treatments drive home the ad’s simple message: “No one should lose everything because they’re denied affordable health coverage.”
For comparison’s sake, check out Americans for Stable Quality Care’s first ad from this August, titled “What Health Reform Means for You.” The ad has the same high production value, and a similarly simple, straightforward message making the case for health reform, but it lacks the emotional power that makes “House” such a good ad. Still, it makes a lot more sense than this ad.
The second ad comes from progressive advocacy group, MoveOn.org, proving the point that while reasonable people disagree on a public health insurance option, we can all agree on Heather Graham. While we prefer the artistic integrity of Ms. Graham’s early work, she does a solid job portraying the potential of a public health insurance option to compete on a level playing field with private plans.