POLITICS
06/15/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Conservative Health Care Group Caught Fabricating Ad Controversy

As the fight over health care reform heats up, the teevee airwaves have become one of the battlegrounds. And the rivalry between pro-reform Health Care For America Now and pro-something-other-than-reform Conservatives For Patient Rights is aflame! And aflame with persnicketyness! CPR is bugging out big time, over this ad from HCAN:

And CPR thinks they've caught their rival in a tough spot over this. In a blog post today from "CPR Staff," the organization asserts that Comcast has "Order[ed] Misleading HCAN Ad About Rick Scott Off the Air."

After reviewing ads produced by Health Care for America Now that attack CPR Chairman Rick Scott personally, Comcast has determined that they are indeed misleading and have been pulled off the air.

"Supporters of government-run health care were taught a lesson today - they can try to change the subject, but they can't lie to change the subject. Their misleading ads against me were a desperate attempt to change the subject. They don't want to debate the substance of what we want in health care reform -- choice, competition, accountability and personal responsibility - versus their goal which is a government-run health care system where bureaucrats, not patients make the decisions. We'll continue our fight to put patients and patients' rights first and bring true competition to lower costs," Scott stated.

Now that Comcast has put an end to HCAN's misleading personal attack ad, it is time for the proponents of government-run healthcare to stop misleading the American people about the pitfalls of a government takeover, including fewer choices and longer waits for patients.

But is there any truth to this claim of Comcast laying the mad kibosh on HCAN? The Huffington Post contacted Jacki Schechner, National Communications Director of Health Care For America Now, and as it turns out, the ad was not pulled.

"Uhh, no," Schechner said, "The ad buy ran out on Wednesday." And far from being ordered down by Comcast, a second ad buy will soon see the spot returning to the airwaves. At Comcast's suggestion, HCAN will be making a single change to a single graphic on the original advertisement. "And because we stand behind the ad one hundred percent," Schechner says, "We will make Comcast's one suggested change and go back up with a second buy."

In a statement, Sena Fitzmaurice, Comcast's Executive Director for Corporate Communications and Government Affairs, backs up Schechner's side of the story: "To clarify -- Comcast has not pulled any ads produced by Health Care for America Now (HCAN) off our systems. The media buy for the ad in question expired on May 13. Comcast has asked HCAN to include a clarification in future versions of the ad."

And the change? It's not anything that alters the ad's premise: "It is literally nothing more than adding the Hospital Corporation of America logo to additional portions of the advertisement," Schechner says.

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