Another in a series evaluating the accuracy of political advertising.
Candidate: Bill Bradley
Markets: Iowa, New Hampshire
Producer: Crystal Team
Time: 30 seconds
Audio: [ELDERLY WOMAN:] What is in your health care plan, and what is it going to do?
[BRADLEY:] We insure children from birth. We provide tax relief for working families who have to pay premiums. We make available affordable, quality care for all Americans. You carry it with you from job to job if you choose to. We provide a prescription drug benefit to the elderly so they can get access to life-saving drugs. And we put the doctors back in charge of the decision-making.
Analysis: No one could say this ad, taped in a Bedford, N.H., living room, is excessively slick (a Sioux City version is airing in Iowa). Bradley is low key and speaks in a monotone. His plan would not quite cover "all Americans" -- his estimate is 95 percent -- but generally lives up to his description.
Bradley does not discuss the cost of his plan ($650 billion, by his estimate) or how he would pay for it. (An earlier ad for Vice President Gore said his proposal to cover all children would occur "within a balanced budget.") Bradley does not mention that he would replace the Medicaid program for the poor; nor does he address Gore's criticism that his plan would hurt minorities and the disabled. The $463,000 media buy underscores that Bradley considers aid to uninsured Americans a campaign centerpiece and is determined to define his plan on his own terms.