Opponents of single-payer health care today announced their first “television” ad, though they don’t have enough money to get the 30-second spot on actual TV.
Jeff Wennberg, executive director of Vermonters for Health Care Freedom, fired off a press release to media outlets this morning touting the “new television ad.”
You can see it on the internet at http://vthealthcarefreedom.org/bureaucrats-tv-commercial. Network television though will have to wait.
“We had the funds to produce the message, but need to raise additional donations to air it,” Wennberg said. “We are hoping that once people see the ad they will be motivated to make an online donation to help deliver the message to a much wider audience.”
Production was apparently a low-budget affair. The spot, titled “Bureaucrats,” was made using donated space and unpaid volunteer “actors,” according to Wennberg.
“Even so we believe it effectively communicates the message that once the government has full control of our health care system, our access to needed services will be limited, not by medical professionals but by unaccountable bureaucrats in the name of cost containment,” he said.
The spot shows a woman, facing a potentially dire prognosis, and a doctor saying, “I think we need to run a test, if that’s okay.”
“That’s okay with me,” the female patient says.
“Sorry – I wasn’t talking to you,” the doctor says. “Is that okay with you?”
The conceit here is that the doctor is in fact talking to the “bureaucrats” that Wennberg says would, under a single-payer system, be empowered to make health care decisions on behalf of Vermonters.
“Gov. Shumlin’s single-payer health care plan gives unaccountable bureaucrats the power to limit the care Vermonters receive,” the ad says.
“The new message uses humor to illustrate a very serious concern about single payer reforms. When the state outlaws private insurance and creates a government monopoly with power over every aspect of health care financing and delivery, the government will unavoidably intrude into clinical decisions and limit access to care. We believe these decisions are best left to doctors and patients,” Wennberg said in the release.
A group called “Vermont Leads: Single Payer Now!” spent about $100,000 airing series of pro-single-payer ads earlier this month. The group is underwritten entirely by an arm of Service Employees International Union.
Wennberg said his group doesn’t have the resources to follow suit.
“Unlike single payer advocates who are running a heavy schedule of television and radio advertising with a reported $100,000 donation from a huge out-of-state labor union,” Wennberg said, “VHCF depends largely on much smaller contributions from Vermonters.”