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The fight over health-care reform legislation has spilled onto the nation's airwaves, with groups on all sides of the debate pouring tens of millions of dollars into television ads. Here is a look at the most prominent ads that have been run since June.

Generic Pro-Reform Ads

Dan Brodrick’s Story

Location: Nationwide, Sunday talk shows
Organization: American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
Date launched: September 27
Amount spent: unknown
This ad highlights the story of a man whose wife died of cancer after he lost his job and was unable to buy individual insurance because of her preexisting condition. All of the major reform bills under consideration ban rejection of customers based on preexisting conditions.

Eight Ways

Location: Nationwide
Organization: Americans for Stable Quality Care
Date launched: August 27
Amount spent: Group spending a combined $12 million on all ads
This continues the same general pro-reform theme as ASQC’s previous ad, "Mean for You."

Bipartisan

Location
Organization: PhRMA/Families USA
Date launched: August 18
Amount spent: $3.5 million
This ad lauds Montana Sen. Max Baucus for his role in trying to craft a bipartisan health care deal. Many liberal Democrats would argue Baucus does not deserve praise for his role, but the ad's bland generalities contain no glaring misstatements.

Mean for You

Location: Nationwide
Organization: Americans for Stable Quality Care
Date launched: August 12
Amount spent: Group spending a combined $12 million on all ads
This ad doesn't endorse any particular reform bill but rather makes the general case that Americans – whether they currently have insurance or not - should want a bill to pass. It avoids mention of the more controversial parts of the health-care debate, like the proposed "public option."

Illness

Location: Nationwide
Organization: America's Health Insurance Plans
Date launched: July 20
Amount spent: "seven figures"
The generalities in this ad are not contestable. But the message from the insurance industry is clear: Reform should be bipartisan and incremental, without going too far to upend the current system.

Harry and Louise Return

Location: Nationwide
Organization: PhRMA/Families USA
Date launched: July 18
Amount spent: $4 million
This ad, which uses the same actors who appeared in a devastating anti-reform ad in 1994, is a generic pro-reform bit that is too general to contain any obvious misstatements.

Leading the Fight

Location
Organization: PhRMA/Families USA
Date launched: June 9
Amount spent: unknown
The health-care claims in this ad are on solid ground. What's questionable is whether it's accurate to say that Harry Reid is "leading the fight" on health-care reform in Washington. Right now, he's not.
Pro-Democrat Ads

Hold Snowe Accountable

Location:
Organization: Progressive Change Campaign Committee/Democracy for America
Date launched: September 21
Amount spent: $100,000
This spot is designed to pressure Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine). Though she appears to be the lone Republican on the Finance Committee now inclined to vote for Chairman Max Baucus' (D-Mont.) reform plan, Snowe is opposed to including the public insurance option, which these liberal groups strongly favor.

Tell Blanche Lincoln and Mike Ross to Act Like Democrats

Location:
Organization: Firedoglake Action PAC
Date launched: September 21
Amount spent: $78,000
This spot is targeted at two Arkansas Democrats – Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Rep. Mike Ross. Lincoln is a Senate moderate and Ross is a leader of the conservative Blue Dogs. Both have opposed versions of the public insurance option, prompting this liberal PAC to urge viewers to tell them to "act like Democrats."

How to Get Rich

Location: Nationwide
Organization: Health Care for America Now
Date launched: September 15
Amount spent: $1.2 million
This spot represents liberal groups' latest effort to demonize health-insurance companies, part of the left's effort to make the case for a public insurance option.

Republicans Want to End Medicare

Location: Nationwide
Organization: Democratic National Committee
Date launched: September 8
Amount spent: "six figures"
Technically it is true that many House Republicans voted to change Medicare - their budget proposal this year would have altered the program for workers currently under 55 to a system of subsidized private insurance when they retire. But the GOP plan still pledged to provide health care to future retirees, even if the system was structured differently. Factcheck.org says "it's a plan to change Medicare significantly but not to 'abolish' it."

Real Death Panels

Location: Nationwide
Organization: Americans United for Change
Date launched: August 24
Amount spent: "low five figures"
This ad is on solid factual ground. The warnings about "death panels" have been debunked. And the ex-insurer's testimony speaks for itself.

Shoes

Location: Nationwide
Organization: AFSCME/Health Care for America Now
Date launched: August 17
Amount spent: $650,000
Some naive viewers might get the impression that the faceless men in these ads are the Republicans being targeted. They are not.

Broke It

Location
Organization: Democratic National Committee
Date launched: July 29
Amount spent: unknown
This ad accurately reflects the votes taken by the Republican leaders it targets. But it's arguably going a bit far to say that these Republicans "broke" the economy.

Snail

Location
Organization: Americans United for Change
Date launched: July 27
Amount spent: $10,000
This ad represents the political debate fairly accurately -- in fact, conservative strategists have recommended bogging down the health-care debate precisely as a way to quash reform.

Fighter

Location
Organization: AFSCME/Health Care for America Now
Date launched: July 23
Amount spent: unknown
This ad attacking Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) for voting against a health reform bill in the Senate is a bit unfair, because it focuses on one of the more popular aspects of the bill: preventing insurers from denying coverage due to preexisting conditions. Republicans' opposition to the bill was based on other parts of the legislation, including the cost of covering the insured and the creation of a government-run insurance option.

It's Time

Location
Organization: Organizing for America
Date launched: July 18
Amount spent: unknown
This generic pro-reform ad makes no specific claims regarding health-care legislation.

Nurses

Location: Nationwide
Organization: AFSCME
Date launched: July 16
Amount spent: unknown

Thank You

Location
Organization: Health Care for America Now
Date launched: July 15
Amount spent: unknown
This ad overstates the effect that the Democratic reforms would have on reining in the insurance industry. The reforms may reduce industry profits over the long run, but they'll hardly "strip them away." Single-payer health care would have done that, but these reforms leave a very large role for private insurers.

What If

Location
Organization: AFSCME/Health Care for America Now
Date launched: June 19
Amount spent: $1.1 million
This ad overstates the effect that the Democratic reforms would have on reining in the insurance industry. The reforms may reduce industry profits over the long run, but they'll hardly "strip them away." Single-payer health care would have done that, but these reforms leave a very large role for private insurers.
Anti-Democrat Ads

Serious Question

Location
Organization: American Future Fund
Date launched: September 9
Amount spent: "six figures"
This ad seeks to capitalize on remarks made by Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) that moderate Democratic opponents of the public insurance option were "brain dead." The ad is targeted at handful of Blue Dog Democrats, pressuring them to renounce the public option, which the spot dubs "government-run health care."

Seniors Bill of Rights

Location: Nationwide
Organization: Republican National Committee
Date launched: September 1
Amount spent: unknown
Factcheck.org calls the "bill of rights" on which this ad is based "a mix of false, true and misleading claims." Particularly controversial are the GOP's claims that Democrats want to "cut Medicare" and "interfere with end-of-life care discussions."

Surf's Up

Location
Organization: Conservatives for Patients' Rights
Date launched: August 24
Amount spent: $150,000
It's an exaggeration to say that the proposed reforms will lead to government health care -- to the left's consternation, the reforms leave a very big role for private insurance. It is also false to say the plans will add $1 trillion to the deficit -- they cost roughly that much but most of them are paid for by cuts in other federal health spending or tax increases.

Cook Up

Location
Organization: National Republican Congressional Committee
Date launched: August 21
Amount spent: unknown
This ad overstates the reductions in Medicare spending that will help pay for covering the uninsured. The $500 billion in cuts it refers to is a gross estimate from the Congressional Budget Office that doesn't take into account increases in Medicare spending under the House plan -- overall, the net savings would be closer to $200 billion over 10 years. And most of that would be in reductions of the subsidies that private insurers get to provide Medicare Advantage plans, not in direct cuts to the Medicare benefits seniors receive.

Cave

Location
Organization: Club for Growth
Date launched: August 20
Amount spent: $300,000
It is not accurate to say that reform with a government-run insurance program would push people out of their existing coverage. In fact, the plans would deliberately preserve the existing employer-based insurance system by allowing only the uninsured or small businesses to participate in the public option or the private plans offered on a new insurance "exchange." It is also inaccurate to say that "massive tax hikes" will "pay for it all." The plans call for new taxes to pay for at most a third of the cost and direct the taxes mostly at the very wealthy.

Health Care Reform: Share Your Story

Location
Organization: Independent Women's Forum
Date launched: August 17
Amount spent: $2 million
This fear-inducing ad is rife with misleading statements. The government-run insurance option would not cost taxpayers any more money than would subsidizing the uninsured via private insurance plans. The "independent experts" the ad refers to is in fact a consulting firm owned by insurance giant UnitedHealth Group. And it is a vast oversimplification to say that England's health-care system denies people life-saving drugs. The higher cancer survival rates for America compared with England are due partly to the fact that we screen more for cancer here, and so treat more of the easily survivable cancers than in England, thus raising our survivor rates.

Self-Proclaimed Author

Location
Organization: National Republican Congressional Committee
Date launched: August 12
Amount spent: unknown
The reference to a "national energy tax" is a stretch. The cap and trade bill for carbon emissions has been softened to the point where electricity consumers will in fact see very little change in their bills, to the consternation of many environmental groups.

Where Does It End?

Location
Organization: Club for Growth
Date launched: August 6
Amount spent: unknown
This ad repeats the misleading notion that the proposed reforms would mean the government taking over health care. This is not the case. The majority of Americans would still be covered by private insurance.

Six Months

Location
Organization: Club for Growth
Date launched: August 4
Amount spent: $1.2 million
This ad ominously implies that proposed health-care reforms would lead America in the direction of the explicit rationing that occurs under England's nationalized health-care system. This is inaccurate. The reforms call for more "comparative effectiveness" research but explicitly forbid cost considerations from being factored in. The ad also overstates the way that rationing works in England -- the $22,750 limit for the cost of extending a life six months is not as hard and fast as the ad makes it out to be.

Did You Read

Location: Nationwide
Organization: Americans for Prosperity/Patients United
Date launched: July 24
Amount spent: $300,000
This ad overstates the proportion of the cost of expanding coverage that would be paid for by new taxes -- in all the bills, it is under $500 billion. There are also no "devastating limits" to medical care in the reforms -- they shy from anything that could be perceived as rationing.

Patients First

Location
Organization: Americans for Prosperity
Date launched: June 30
Amount spent: $500,000
It is inaccurate to say that reform will be paid for by $600 billion in new taxes. The plans so far call for well below that sum in new revenue.
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