CBS Resumes Running Bush Administration Medicare Advertisement
CBS will resume airing the Bush administration's advertisement about the new Medicare law (HR 1), officials announced Wednesday, adding that changes to the ad made "at the insistence of ABC were sufficient to satisfy CBS' concerns as well," the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 2/19). According to Kevin Keane, HHS assistant secretary of public affairs, ABC had required the ad to include an asterisk and the words "savings vary" in the part of the ad asserting that beneficiaries will save money from the changes. CBS initially said it would not run the spot until the General Accounting Office completed an investigation into the ad. The 30-second ad, which is titled "Same Medicare. More Benefits" and will air through March on network and cable television, is part of a larger promotional campaign that includes print and radio ads to inform beneficiaries about reforms to Medicare and address some criticisms about the law. HHS will pay for the campaign with part of the $1 billion in federal funds allocated to implement reforms to Medicare. At the request of some Democrats, who say that the ad "misrepresents what the law does" to help President Bush in his re-election campaign, GAO has launched an investigation to determine whether the Bush administration developed the ad for "political purposes." Democrats have called on CBS, NBC, ABC and CNN to pull the ads until GAO completes its investigation. (California Healthline, 2/17).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.