Friday, January 11, 2008

California Nurses Use Obama's Words Against Schwarzenegger Plan

This morning The Nation brings us some interesting news (via Yahoo). Evidently while U.S. Senator Barack Obama is focusing his attentions on other states, his voice is ringing out across California thanks to an ad campaign run by the California Nurses Association (CNA). The ads attack the health care reform plan backed by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Democratic Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, and a group of major insurance corporations.

The radio ads being aired by CNA announce that, "The nurses of California agree with Senator Barack Obama: the government shouldn't punish people who can't afford health insurance."

Then an audio clip from Obama is heard. "I know that there have been some folks who said that it's not possible to provide universal health care coverage unless there's a mandate," says the senator. "Their essential argument is the only way to get everybody covered is if the government forces you to buy health insurance. If you don't buy it, then you'll be penalized in some way. And the reason people don't have health insurance is because they can't afford it."
You may read a transcript of the ad or listen to/download it in MP3 format from the CNA Online Press Release.

The CNA has not gone easy on Senator Obama's plan in the past. Last year the organization's then president, Deborah Berger, RN, criticized it for failing to address pricing practices in the health care industry. She said that those practices, "put so many American families at financial and health risk."

Then there is Iowa. During the recent caucuses the CNA ran an ad aimed at Senator Obama which said: "It's not good enough just to be better than the Republicans on this."

The current ad campaign has potential to be a very powerful one. Senator Obama's voice and face have become ubiquitous, especially after his victory in the Iowa caucuses. The CNA, as we wrote about here, was the group behind the last month's powerful "if he were anyone else, he'd be dead by now," ad campaign that used U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney's recent medical history as it's basis.

It will be interesting to see what direction things take in response, especially between now and the California presidential primary on February 5.

SOURCE: " Putting Obama to Work for Health-Care Reform" 01/11/08
SOURCE: "Nurses Unveil New Advertising Campaign Against Schwarzenegger-Nunez “Individual Mandate” Plan" 01/10/08
photo courtesy of Transplanted Mountaineer, used under this Creative Commons license

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