JAMES ROGAN: Campaign Ad Touting HMO Reform Riles Opponent
In one of the "nation's pivotal, most hotly contested congressional campaigns," Rep. James Rogan (R-Glendale) has launched a cable television ad blitz focusing on HMO reform legislation, the Los Angeles Times reports. Airing May 10 on cable systems throughout the 27th Congressional District, which includes La Canada Flintridge, Pasadena, San Marino and South Pasadena, the 30-second spot promotes Rogan's support of a patients' bill of rights and a Medicare prescription drug benefit (Merl, 5/13). Titled "More Lawsuits," the ad also takes shots at Rogan's opponent, state Sen. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), for "supporting a health care plan that creates lawsuits and earns millions for trial and personal injury lawyers who have contributed nearly $100,000 to his campaign." It further asserts that a Schiff-sponsored HMO reform bill would increase health premiums to the point that "average working families could see their take-home pay reduced by over $1,000 a year" (National Journal Group, 5/19). Last year, Rogan voted against the Norwood-Dingell HMO Bill of Rights, instead throwing his support behind HMO industry-backed measures that would have eliminated employers' liability in lawsuits against HMOs and allowed patients to sue only in federal court. Angered by the "breathtaking dishonesty" in Rogan's ad, Schiff argued that Rogan was distorting both candidates' records. Schiff's campaign consultant Parke Skelton said, "The facts are that while Sen. Schiff has been an effective champion of meaningful HMO reform, Rogan consistently votes with the HMOs and insurance companies and against patients and consumers." Originally scheduled to air for two weeks, Rogan's campaign indicated that the ad's air time could be extended (Los Angeles Times, 5/13). To view the ad, click here or type http://video.cloakroom.com/2000archive/05/0518jrca1.rm in your Web browser. Note: To view the ad, you will need RealPlayer G2 (National Journal Group, 5/19).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.