Friday, August 14, 2009

$12M Ad Campaign Launches in Support of Health Care Reform

Yesterday marked the launch of a well-funded, targeted television ad campaign, designed to engender support for President Obama's health-insurance reform agenda. This initial campaign comes with a $12M price tag, and is financed by an unconventional consortium that includes organizations representing union - as well as corporate - interests. The coalition, which is known as Americans for Stable Quality Care, is comprised of the SEIU, the American Medical Association, and the pharmaceutical industry's primary lobbying arm - the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

The nationwide blitzkrieg of President Obama's health care message comes at a politically crucial moment, as the raucous nature of recent town hall events has virtually consumed all major media coverage of the evolving debate. The media's decision to devote vast swaths of programming time to health care reforms boisterous critics has created an interesting irony of sorts. Most networks have remained skeptical as to the legitimacy of the protesters; continually emphasizing their assertion that these angry demonstrators represent a small yet vocal portion of the population that is ultimately not representative of the nation's aggregate mood towards health insurance reform. By doing so however, the media is undermining it's own message, and further legitimizing the opposition. Just a humble observation here.

I've provided one of the full-length commercials below; as you can see, the 30 second clip keeps it brief and to the point - a strategy proven to be effective. I've previously stated, from an apolitical angle, that the health insurance reform bill(s) had little to no chance of passage. This opinion was based largely upon Obama's ill-rehearsed address to the nation, where he appeared more frustrated than at any time in his nascent political career. However, the expediency and shrewdness of the President's deal with industry stakeholders - the results of which can be viewed below - have necessitated a revision to my previous prognostication.

The next 10 days will inevitably decide the fate of the health care reform effort; specifically, passage of the House or Senate bills will be decided by the effectiveness of the television campaign, and it's ability to undermine the uncivilized town hall events.

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