$57M Health Care Battle Infects Airwaves

Groups spend $57M on tough TV ads
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2009 4:51 PM CDT

(Newser) – A popular ad blasting President Obama’s health care effort symbolizes the overhaul with a bulging balloon: Eventually, the balloon bursts, as could Obama’s ambitious plan if the White House loses a fierce TV ad war against critics, Katharine Q. Seelye writes in the New York Times. So far pro-Obama groups are outspending rivals by $15 million in a battle that has cost both sides more than $57 million since February.

The White House acknowledges support for Obama is eroding, partly because of skeptical Democrats and misleading ads. In an unusual strategy, the DNC has paid for commercials pushing Democratic senators to approve a public health plan. Big Pharma is pitching in by resurrecting "Harry and Louise," who opposed health reform 15 years ago but now support it. “If it goes on all year, we’re looking at one of the biggest public policy ad wars ever," one analyst says.