Coalition’s Ads Advocate More Coverage the Uninsured
"America can do better" for the uninsured, according to an advertising campaign spearheaded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and co-sponsored by several other advocacy groups. The ads have been running since March 5 in several publications, including the Washington Post, the New York Times, Roll Call and National Journal. They will continue until early May. Stuart Schear, senior communications officer at the foundation, said that the ads are part of a broad campaign to raise awareness and facilitate discussion about the uninsured among various audiences, including lawmakers and policy makers. In addition to the ads, the foundation has organized several meetings around the nation to discuss the issue of the uninsured. Schear said that the foundation's goal is to alert people to the fact that most of the nation's uninsured are members of working families and that being uninsured has "real consequences."
Noting that eight out of 10 uninsured Americans are from working families, the ads state: "Most can't afford health coverage. That's why -- despite record economic growth -- there are nearly 43 million uninsured Americans, 10 million more than a decade ago." The ads continue: "It's taking its toll. In fact, the uninsured are three times more likely to end up in the hospital if they're diabetic and are much more likely to die if they have breast cancer. And huge medical bills are a top reason families are forced into bankruptcy." The ads conclude: "America can do better. That's why major organizations from different sectors of society and from across the policy spectrum think we must get more people covered. We don't see eye-to-eye on many issues, but we all agree that increasing access to affordable, quality health coverage must be a national priority. Let's all work together to make it happen." Along with RWJF, the ads are co-sponsored by Families USA, the Health Insurance Association of America, the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, the American Hospital Association, the Catholic Health Association of the United States, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union and the Business Roundtable (Melissa Keefe, California Healthline, 4/18).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.