Doctor vs. doctor on healthcare

The two sides of the reform debate are digging up medical professionals to advocate for them

By Alex Koppelman
Published October 7, 2009 12:55AM (UTC)
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With the battle over healthcare reform in what could be its final weeks, everyone's stepping up their efforts. For now, it seems, that means bringing in the doctors -- both sides of the issue are trotting out various healthcare professionals to help them advocate for their position. On Monday, President Obama held an event with some 150 doctors at the White House; Tuesday saw the release of two new ads that feature the men and women in white coats.

One of the ads is an anti-reform spot; it was produced by the conservative group Americans for Prosperity, and features a doctor named Ami Siems warning viewers about government's handling of Medicare. In doing so, it goes too far -- at one point, Siems says, "Medicare will be bankrupt in eight years." That's not strictly true; it's one of Medicare's trust funds that would run out of money, not the whole system. And there have been predictions of that fund going bankrupt since the 1980's. AFP will reportedly be spending $1.7 million to air the spot.


The other ad was released by Organizing for America, a campaign organization within the Democratic National Committee. It has doctors and nurses advocating for Democratic reform plans, and will be running on national cable.

The AFP ad:

The OFA ad:


Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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