The major presidential candidates and the interest groups that support and oppose them are trying to compete for voter eyeballs with Web health policy ads, and with television ads archived on the Web.
The makers of most of the ads seem to agree that the U.S. health care system needs changing, but the makers disagree vehemently about how the system ought to be changed.
One Web ad from opponents of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., HYPERLINK “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arw-yNas2xc”"Why Do Women Give McGain A Zero?”, shows a young woman walking into a clinic after McCain is in the White House.
The woman asks for a list of birth control options, and a smiling secretary hands her a blank sheet of paper and tells her that she has no birth control options.
Critics of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., the Democratic nominee, have posted a Web ad that portrays Obama as a silent cardboard cutout concerning the idea of creating a government-run, single-payer health insurance system.
The ad, endorsed by Physicians for a National Health Program, Chicago, shows a woman speaking to the camera about her worries about high medical bills, increasing premiums and prescription drug costs, stating that she thinks single-payer health insurance is the best option.
The camera pans out and the viewer sees that the woman is speaking to a “speechless” life-size cutout of Obama. The ad ends with an announcer saying, “Real leadership on health care doesn’t mean just being better than the Republicans.”
The PNHP has posted similar ads that feature cutouts of McCain and Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.
McCain’s own campaign is running a 30-second Web ad, that features an announcer listing McCain’s health reform ideas.
McCain also is running a second ad, in which McCain speaks to the camera about his health reform ideas.
“The fundamental problem with health care in America is not the quality of health care,” McCain says, “It’s the availability and affordability.”
Obama’s campaign is running a Web ad called in which Obama talks about his mother, who died from cancer at age 53.
Obama says his mother was more worried about how she was going to pay her medical bills than about getting healthy.
“To fix health care, we have to fix Washington,” Obama says.
Youtube.com shows that Obama’s “Mother” ad has been viewed 127,091 times.
McCain’s “Health Care Action” ad has 19,417 Youtube views, and McCain’s Health Care Solutions ad has 32,374 views.