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CAMPAIGN 2000

Ad Watch

August 29, 2000|Jeff Leeds

DNC Fires Back, Says Bush Plan

'Leaves Millions With No Help'

The Democratic National Committee is spending about $5 million to air this 30-second advertisement on prescription drugs--entitled "Siding"--in the nine states where the GOP is running an ad on the same subject. It was released Monday.

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Producer

Democratic Victory 2000, a corporation formed by media consultants from Squier, Knapp, Dunn; Shrum, Devine, Donilon and consultant Carter Eskew.

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Script Announcer

"The issue: prescription drugs. George Bush's approach leaves millions of seniors with no prescription drug coverage. None. And Bush forces seniors he does include to go to HMO's and insurance companies for coverage. The National Council of Senior Citizens says, 'The Bush approach is favored by big drug companies and leaves millions with no help." Al Gore is taking on the big drug companies to pass a real prescription drug benefit that covers all seniors. George Bush? Siding with the big drug companies. The Gore plan: fighting for our seniors."

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The Pictures

Shot of an elderly person in a hospital setting. Footage of Bob Darthez, a senior citizen featured in the party's first issue ad this summer. Shot of shelves lined with prescription bottles. Gore in front of an American flag.

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Accuracy

The policy criticized by the ad wasn't written by Bush and isn't his campaign's official stance. Bush aides said Monday the Texas governor would issue his own plan next week. Bush's campaign, however, said he supports and will "build on" the legislation offered by Sens. Bill Frist and John Breaux, who led a bipartisan commission on Medicare reform. Under their recommendations, the government would fully subsidize prescription drug coverage for elderly couples with incomes under 135% of the poverty level, about $14,000. All subsidies would end at 200% of the poverty level, or incomes of about $20,160 per couple. That plan has won praise from the insurance industry and HMO's, who would get a larger share of the elderly's health dollars if the plan were enacted. The National Council of Senior Citizens was one of three advocacy groups that investigators found to have participated in a contribution-swapping scandal that led to the ouster of Teamsters chief Ron Carey in 1998.

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Scorecard

Democrats, believing the drug issue is one of Gore's strongest weapons, are responding to a GOP offensive in nine critical states. But the Democrats are taking a two-pronged approach. On Monday, party officials attacked Bush for not putting forth a specific plan of his own. At the same time, the party is on the air criticizing the general principles he supports. *

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