CAMPAIGN ADS I: Ad Ties Bush to Health Industry Cash
A group called American Family Voices, spawned by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, launched a television ad exposing several health care decisions made by presidential candidate George W. Bush (R) as governor of Texas, attributing them to large Republican Party donations from the insurance, nursing home and drug industries. The narrator of the 30-second spot, titled "Invest," says, "The convention's over. And look who won. The insurance industry; they've invested millions in George W. Bush, who vetoed a patients' bill of rights in Texas. Nursing home operators; they've given over a hundred thousand to Bush, who weakened nursing home laws in Texas, while patient complaints doubled. The big drug companies; they've kicked in millions for Bush, who joined them in opposing guaranteed Medicare prescription coverage." Meanwhile, the camera pans across vestiges of the Republican convention -- a "confetti-strewn," deserted arena -- and pauses at posters that list the amounts of campaign contributions by several health care industries. The script continues, "Tell Bush when special interests win, American families lose," and Bush's Austin, Texas, office telephone number, as well as American Family Voices' Web address, appear on the screen. A New York Times critique of the ad states that the ad's assertions about Bush's voting history are "oversimplified but not false," noting that "although Mr. Bush has not opposed Medicare prescription drug coverage but only insisted that the benefit not be fully financed by taxpayers." The ad campaign alerts Bush and the GOP of the forthcoming opposition from the labor movement on economic interests. Unions have allocated millions of dollars for the ad and other efforts to support Democratic candidates nationwide (Broder, 8/11).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.