Health-Care Bill Supporters, Opponents Plan to Spend Millions on Ads This Summer

Lawmakers may be on summer recess this month, but they're not necessarily taking a break from unfinished legislation.

Health care, Iraq, Afghanistan, bailouts, stimulus spending, a new Supreme Court Justice and the economy are all issues that have been left on the table. In oil and gas producing states, "cap and trade" is a red hot issue. House Democrats hoped to have voted on a health bill by the time they adjourned last week, but will now have to wait until after they return.

August, usually a sleepy time for politics except if a late summer scandal breaks out, is different this year. The Wall Street Journal points out that supporters and opponents of the health-care bill are spending millions on ads this summer:

"Advocates from all sides are spending a total of $1.4 million a day on TV advertising aimed at swaying the health debate, said Evan Tracey, president of the Campaign Media Analysis Group at TNS, a research firm. He expects that pace will, at a minimum, hold steady throughout August."

It would be a good idea to collect what your elected officials say on their trips home this week so you can compare what they say they'll do to what they actually do when voting on the health care legislation later this year.

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    Al Tompkins

    Al Tompkins is The Poynter Institute’s senior faculty for broadcasting and online. He has taught thousands of journalists, journalism students and educators in newsrooms around the world.


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