Political Correction

CPR's New Ad Bulldozes The Truth

June 04, 2009 12:39 pm ET

On June 4, 2009, Rick Scott's group Conservatives for Patients Rights posted a new ad titled "Bulldozer."  The ad portrays the government as a bulldozer, crushing Americans' health care choices.  But of course, since it is CPR, the ad is full of distortions and false statements.

CPR's $1.2 Million Ad Campaign To Run On Fox And CNN.  According to Roll Call, Conservatives for Patients Rights launched "a $1.2 million television advertising campaign slated to run through the July 4 recess. The 30-second spot, set to run on Fox News Channel and CNN...features video of a bulldozer crushing written text that reads: 'HEALTH CARE CHOICE.'" [Roll Call, 6/4/09]

SEIU's Change That Works Health Care Campaign has produced a detailed rebuttal to "Bulldozer;" MMAN has posted it below.

CPR Wants Viewers To Believe That The Health Insurance Market Is Large And Varied

FALSE CLAIM: "There are hundreds of choices of health care plans today..." [Conservatives for Patients' Rights "Bulldozer" Ad, 6/4/09]

FACT: Only A Few Insurance Companies Dominate The Market, Leaving Americans With Limited Choices In Health Care. According to the American Medical Association, 94 percent of United States health care markets are considered highly concentrated, meaning that one company or a small group of companies control a great deal of the market. [American Medical Association, "Competition in Health Insurance," 2008 Update]

Additionally, Insurance Companies Can Deny Coverage For Many Reasons:

CPR Wants Viewers To Believe The Government Will Take Away American's Choices

FALSE CLAIM: "This government-run plan could crush all your other choices, driving them out of existence..." [Conservatives for Patients' Rights "Bulldozer" Ad, 6/4/09]

FACT: Public Plan Will Only Drive Out Inefficient Private Plans, Leaving Consumers With Greater Choices And Better Care Options. According to Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) chairman Glenn Hackbarth's comments on National Journal's health care blog, "some private plans will not survive this competition - namely, plans that do little more than offer free-choice of provider, fee-for-service coverage.  We don't need those plans; a public plan can do that better." [National Journal's Health Care Blog, 12/8/08]

FACT: Private Plans That Offer Lower-Cost Options And More Comprehensive Plans Will Be Able To Compete. According to the Urban Institute: "Private plans that offer better services and greater access to providers, even at a somewhat higher cost than the public plans, would survive the competition in this environment.  It is also conceivable that private plans offering a lower-cost option - for example, lower premiums than the public plan, say by exploiting care management innovations, and network and payment rate limitations - could stake out a separate niche in some markets." [Urban Institute, 3/18/09]

FACT: Many States Run Public And Private Plans Alongside Each Other Successfully. According to the Center for American Progress: "Today, state governments (all of which regulate insurance companies) operate public Medicaid programs, purchase insurance for thousands of public employees, and regulate insurers. In fact, many states successfully offer their employees and retirees private health insurance plans side-by-side with these states' self-funded health insurance plans." [Center for American Progress, March 2009]

CPR Wants Viewers To Believe The Government Will Remove Coverage For 119 Million Americans

FALSE CLAIM: "Government-run plan" will force "119 million off their current insurance coverage, leaving no choices in health insurance and government in control of your health care." [Conservatives for Patients' Rights "Bulldozer" Ad, 6/4/09]

FACT: CBO Director: Lewin Study Claims Are Overstated. According to National Journal's Congress Daily: "CBO Director Elmendorf told Senate Finance Committee members and staffers he expects fewer Americans would migrate from private health insurance to a public plan than projected by the oft-quoted study by nonpartisan policy experts at the Lewin Group."  [National Journal's CongressDaily, 5/20/2009]

FACT: Lewin Group Is Mouthpiece For Insurance Industry. The Lewin Group was "acquired" by Ingenix in 2007, according to the Ingenix website.  Ingenix is "a leading health information technology company."  According to the New York Times, INgenix is the "database business" of UnitedHealth Group. [Ingenix.com, 6/12/07; New York Times, 3/31/08]

CPR Wants Viewers To Support Maintaining The Failed Status Quo

Rick Scott in "Bulldozer": "It's not too late.  Protect your health care choices.  Tell Congress to say 'no' to a government-run plan." [Conservatives for Patients' Rights "Bulldozer" Ad, 6/4/09]

FACT: Scott Has Made His Fortune Off Our Broken Health Care System.

Scott Received Nearly $10 Million In Severance And A 5 Year Contract With Columbia/HCA Following Resignation.  Modern Healthcare reported that Richard L. Scott's "$9.9 million severance included a five-year consulting contract with HCA." [Modern Healthcare, 7/11/05]

Scott's Severance Package Included $300 Million In Stocks.  According to the Florida Times-Union, Richard L. Scott left Columbia/HCA "with a $10 million severance package and 10 million shares of stock valued at more than $300 million." [Florida Times-Union, 6/21/06]


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