Bad politics to oppose healthcare reform?

A new ad put out by a liberal group makes the case for that argument

Published September 14, 2009 1:45PM (EDT)

Americans United for Change, a liberal group backing healthcare reform, is out with a new ad that tries to push votes in Congress for the Democratic plan. The spot is something fairly new, strategy-wise, at least for this fight -- a case for the proposals on both policy and political grounds.

Instead of a traditional narrator, the ad features an actor playing a political consultant, who speaks directly into the camera to say, "Congressman, as your political consultant, I’m sorry you lost… I was wrong. Turned out the voters hated the strangle hold the insurance companies have on health care... raising premiums... cutting off people with pre-existing conditions... making health care decisions instead of doctors .... Guess your vote against health insurance reform turned out to be bad politics.”

The spot, which is slated to air on cable in Washington, D.C., is accompanied by polling data put out by the group to make the case for healthcare reform as a smart political choice. The chance that some members of Congress will watch this ad and be swayed seems slim, but the point may be more to move the debate in a direction more favorable to proponents of reform, one where the political advantage is seen to be on their side.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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