$2 Million Anti-Health Care Reform Campaign Set to Roll
Blue Cross and its business and insurance allies are poised to roll out a $2 million advertising campaign in the next few days designed to defeat the health care plans that are advancing in the legislature and being proposed by the Governor, the California Majority Report has learned.
Print ads in the Sacramento Bee and other newspapers are planned, backed by radio and eventually TV advertising. The campaign is said to be coordinated by Republican Sacramento political consultants Goddard Claussen with assistance from former top-level Schwarzenegger staffers Rob Stutzman and Donna Lucas. Ironically, those two ex-Administration staffers have been replaced by Daniel Zingale and Adam Mendelsohn, who are leading the Governor’s efforts on health care reform.
We’ve been unable to confirm the name of the new anti-health care reform group, but it will go by a misleading moniker along the lines of the “Coalition for Responsible Health Care Reform.” A website also will be launched.
According to someone familar with the campaign, “the message will be one of caution — we need health reform but we need to do it right.” Comparisons will be made to electricity deregulation as part of the campaign.
The insurance company campaign comes on the heels of a web and direct mail campaign by the California Nurses Association, which also is attacking, but from the opposite side of the political spectrum. CNA advocates a single-payer health care system and the legislation sponsored by State Sen. Sheila Kuehl. The Governor has vetoed that legislation in the past and has promised to do so again if it reaches his desk.
A coalition of groups, led by SEIU, the California Medical Association, Blue Shield, CTA and others, has said it is ready to combat the business-backed campaign. This group has filmed several commercials with Californians telling their real stories about the health care crisis and urging the legislature to act. Those ads have yet to air.
Also expected to weigh in heavily against the health care plans are two other Schwarzenegger allies, the California Chamber of Commerce and the California Restaurant Association. That group is expected to spend millions to thwart the legislation and possibly lead a referendum effort if it makes its way into law.