Political Correction

CPR "Hammer" Ad Fails To Hit The Nail On The Head

June 25, 2009 4:37 pm ET

On June 25, 2009, Conservatives for Patients Rights debuted a new ad titled "Hammer" that will run both nationally and in 14 targeted states through the July 4th recess. Evidently out of ideas, CPR repeats overly used (and refuted) talking points on health care.

CPR Ad: "Hammer"

Remember the $400 hammer? How 'bout that $600 toilet seat?

Seems when Congress gets involved, things just cost more.  Now, they're at it again with a government-run health care plan.

It'll cost more than a trillion dollars and raise taxes 600 billion. Worse, it could put a bureaucrat in charge of your medical decisions -- not you or your doctor.

Tell Senators Lincoln and Pryor to put patients first and say 'no' to a government-run health care plan. [CPR "Hammer" via YouTube, accessed 6/25/09]

Overcharging On Hammers And Toilet Seats?

Rick Scott Is Hardly In A Position To Criticize Any Instance Of "Overcharging"

Scott Departed Columbia/HCA Amid "A Rash Of Civil And Criminal Fraud Inquiries."  Modern Healthcare reported:  "Richard Scott left HCA in July 1997 as a rash of civil and criminal fraud inquiries into what was then known as Columbia-HCA Healthcare Corp. became public." [Modern Healthcare, 7/11/05]

Columbia/HCA Admitted To Several Serious Fraudulent Activities:

Columbia/HCA Paid "More Than $1.7 Billion In Civil And Criminal Penalties."  The New York Times reported that a settlement was reached in the HCA fraud investigation.  "Under the terms, HCA would pay $630 million in fines and penalties to resolve all outstanding civil litigation with the Justice Department. An additional $250 million would be paid by HCA to the Medicare program to resolve expense claims submitted by the company to the government...Combined with previous settlements HCA has negotiated with the government involving fraud accusations -- including its agreement in 2000 to plead guilty to 14 felonies -- the company will be paying a total of more than $1.7 billion in civil and criminal penalties, by far the largest amount ever secured by federal prosecutors in a health care fraud case." [New York Times, 12/18/02, emphasis added]

Government-Run Medicare Is More Efficient Than Private Insurance

Government-Administered Medicare Is Actually More Efficient Than Private Insurance. The Council for Affordable Health Insurance, "a research and advocacy association of insurance carriers," published a report stating: "Administrative costs are lower under Medicare than for private health insurance." The report added, "our best estimates indicate Medicare at slightly above 5% of total Medicare cost in 2003, whereas the government currently reports about 2%... The private market administrative costs are expected to remain at about 9% of total private insurance cost, excluding premium taxes, commissions, and profit. With such items, private costs would be slightly under 17%." [CAHI, Medicare versus Private Health Insurace: The Cost of Administration, 1/6/06]

Americans Are Already Forced To Navigate The Bureaucracies Of Private Insurance Companies

Insurance Bureaucrats Stand Between Americans And Their Doctors.  Dr. Howard Dean said on MSNBC: "Right now there is a bureaucrat between you and your doctor, and it's that private health insurance bureaucrat." [MSNBC via Nexis, accessed 6/17/09]

Insurance Applicants Rejected Based On Height And Weight.  In an article offering advice on what to do when you lose your health care, the Washington Post reported: "Insurers can decline to offer you a policy, exclude coverage for certain conditions or charge you high premiums. Those with serious conditions such as HIV, cancer or diabetes, as well as those with common conditions such as obesity, can feel the snub. 'In the past four or five years, I've had people turned down just because of height and weight,' says Jerry Patt, an independent agent in Gaithersburg who has been in the business for more than 35 years. 'They could be having no medical problems whatsoever, but their build was not acceptable.'" [Washington Post, 6/22/08, emphasis added]

And, Of Course, Frank Luntz Makes An Appearance...

CPR Ad "Hammer":

"...Now, they're at it again with a government-run health care plan.

...it could put a bureaucrat in charge of your medical decisions -- not you or your doctor.

...put patients first and say 'no' to a government-run health care plan." [CPR "Hammer" via YouTube, accessed 6/25/09]

Luntz Memo, Rule 5: Craft Your Argument Against Government-Run Health Care. Luntz suggests the following argument: "'In countries with government run healthcare, politicians make YOUR healthcare decisions. THEY decide if you'll get the procedure you need, or if you are disqualified because the treatment is too expensive or because you are too old.  We can't have that in America.'" [The Language of Healthcare 2009, by Frank Luntz, accessed 5/21/09, emphasis original]

Luntz Memo, Rule 9: Keep Health Care Patient-Centered.  "'A balanced, common sense approach that provides assistance to those who truly need it and keeps health care patient-centered rather than government-centered for everyone.'" [The Language of Healthcare 2009, by Frank Luntz, accessed 5/21/09]

Luntz Memo, Rule 7: Protect The Doctor-Patient Relationship. "Call for the 'protection of the personalized doctor-patient relationship.' It allows you to fight to protect and improve something good rather than only fighting to prevent something bad."  [The Language of Healthcare 2009, by Frank Luntz, accessed 5/21/09, emphasis original]

Luntz Memo, Rule 4: Center Arguments Against Health Care Around Bureaucrats.  "The arguments against the Democrats' healthcare plan must center around 'politicians,' 'bureaucrats,' and 'Washington'...not the free market, tax incentives, or competition." [The Language of Healthcare 2009, by Frank Luntz, accessed 5/21/09]

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