Obama takes on rivals over healthcare plans PDF Print E-mail
Written by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS   
Friday, 04 January 2008
Sample ImageRADIO AD: Healthcare

LENGTH:
60 seconds

AIRING:
Iowa

SCRIPT:
Male announcer: Barack Obama’s health plan.


Female announcer: Here’s what the experts say. President Clinton’s own Labor Secretary Robert Reich says, quote, “I've compared the plans in detail. Obama’s plan would insure more people than the others.” The Pioneer Press confirms Obama guarantees coverage for all Americans.

Male announcer: But here’s the real difference on health care. Senators Edwards and Clinton favor mandates which the Daily Iowan says would, quote, “force those who cannot afford health insurance to buy it, punishing those who don't fall in line.”

Female announcer:
Barack Obama believes the solution isn’t making it illegal not to have health care. It’s making it affordable.

Male announcer: And that’s why his plan cuts costs for a typical family by twenty-five hundred dollars.

Female Announcer: As the Concord Monitor says, when it comes to honesty about health care, Obama has the edge. Check the facts, at Iowa dot Barack Obama dot com.

Male announcer: And caucus on January 3 for change we can believe in.

Female announcer: Paid for by Obama for America.

ANALYSIS: This is the first Obama commercial to name his top rivals. Obama senior adviser David Axelrod said the ad, which has been airing for more than a week, is in response to radio spots and direct mail pieces by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The union, which is supporting Hillary Rodham Clinton, argues that by not mandating insurance Obama would not provide universal health coverage.

The ad quotes former Labor Secretary Reich, who expressed his support for Obama’s health plan in a blog entry on Dec. 3. Reich wrote: “I’ve compared the two plans in detail. Both of them are big advances over what we have now. But in my view Obama's would insure more people, not fewer, than HRC's.”

Clinton and John Edwards have argued that Obama, by not mandating coverage, would leave up to 15 million people uninsured. Obama maintains that mandates are unenforceable and that he would reach more people by making insurance more affordable. His health care plan aims to reduce health costs for an average family by $2,500, a savings his aides say will expand the number of people who can afford insurance without forcing them to take it.

The ad only partially quotes the St. Paul Pioneer Press, which published a McClatchy Co. newspaper article in September comparing the three candidates’ health care plans. “Edwards and Clinton would require all Americans to have health insurance,” the article stated. “Obama’s plan guarantees coverage for all Americans but does not require all to have it.”

The ad accurately quotes the Daily Iowan, a college newspaper, from its endorsement of Obama's candidacy, though the editorial does not specifically single out Edwards and Clinton.

Democrats have been avoiding negative or contrast ads on television, worried that Iowans would object to the tone. By choosing to air one on radio, Obama keeps his message positive on television while addressing the same radio audience that may have heard the AFSCME ads.

Obama also is airing a television commercial in Iowa defending his health care proposal; it does not mention Clinton or Edwards.

Analysis by Associated Press Writer Jim Kuhnhenn.
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