Candidate: John F. Kerry

Images: Kerry speaking to the camera, walking next to a flag Time: 30 seconds

Audio: We spend about $1.5 trillion every year on health care in America. $350 billion of that has nothing to do with care. It's all paperwork. Administrative overhead.

I have a health care plan that can reduce the cost of health care. We can lower their premiums. And we will save literally billions of dollars in health care costs in America by becoming more streamlined and more efficient.

Analysis: The major flaw in this {tilde} is that Kerry campaign officials say they have no idea how much money would be saved under the senator's paperwork plan. Kerry would offer financial incentives to health providers and insurance companies to switch to electronic medical records over four years but cannot calculate any benefits that might be passed on to patients. President Bush recently proposed a 10-year plan to switch to electronic records.

This is Kerry's second straight {tilde} on his $900 billion health plan, which he says would cover 27 million uninsured people and cut premiums by 10 percent. Bush campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt called the Kerry plan "a giant government takeover of the American health care system" that would yield more bureaucracy and higher costs.

The Kerry camp's decision to launch this {tilde} on national cable and in 13 (and eventually 20) tightly contested states contrasts with the Bush team's decision to temporarily suspend its television ads for a week or so. Bush strategists say most voters aren't paying attention right now, but Kerry aides say it's important for their candidate to keep introducing himself to the public and stressing such pocketbook issues as medical care.

-- Howard Kurtz

Video of this ad can be found at