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CAMPAIGN 2000 | Ad Watch

Gore Fires Back Against Barrage of Bush Ads on Health Care Plans

September 22, 2000|Jeff Leeds

Democrat Al Gore's presidential campaign is broadcasting this 30-second commercial in response to a George W. Bush advertise-ment attacking the vice president's health care proposals. This spot is airing in many of the same 18 states as the GOP ad.

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Producer

Century Media, a team compos-ed of principals in two consulting firms--Squier Knapp Dunn and Shrum Devine Donilon--and consultant Carter Eskew.

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The Script

Announcer: Newspapers say George Bush's prescription drug ad misrepresents the facts. In fact, Al Gore's plan covers all seniors through Medicare, not an HMO. Under Gore, seniors choose their own doctor and doctors decide what drugs to prescribe. George Bush forces seniors to go to HMOs and insurance companies for prescription drugs. They have no choice. And Bush leaves millions of middle-class seniors with no coverage. Al Gore--the only prescription plan that gives all seniors coverage and choice.

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The Pictures

Opens with a picture of a newspaper analysis of the Bush ad. The phrase "Bush misrepresents" appears on screen. Gore is shown talking to two elderly people. A prescription bottle is shown being placed in a paper bag. Gore, wearing a short-sleeve shirt, speaks to an older woman. A doctor is shown placing a stethoscope on another woman. Bush, in a suit and tie, is shown speaking. An elderly woman with a walker is shown alone in a corridor. Gore is shown again talking to the couple.

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Accuracy

Gore's plan would let seniors choose their doctors, as the existing Medicare program does. Bush would restructure the Medicare program, providing subsidies to seniors at all income levels for drug coverage to some extent and let them pick from a range of options, including seeking coverage from HMOs. Bush has said seniors could choose a drug benefit under his restructured Medicare but hasn't spelled out the details. Some analysts have suggested middle-class seniors would be unable to afford the cost of high-end drug coverage if the premiums are set by private health plans.

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Scorecard

Gore strategists hastily released this ad to refute the salvo of GOP and Bush campaign spots blasting his drug benefit proposal. Advertising experts believe citing news headlines in ads lends credibility to the claims being made. But the blizzard of ads on the prescription drug issue may be confusing to voters.

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