POLITICS
09/03/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Obama Ally Slams GOP, Health Insurance CEO In New Ad

Americans United for Change, a group that supports President Obama's plans to overhaul the health care system, released a new television advertisement on Monday, lumping together Republicans and health insurance executives as allied forces trying to derail reform.

Tilted "GOP Rx," the ad goes after one of those executives in particular: Cigna CEO Ed Hanway, for earning a reported $73 million golden parachute upon retirement.

"Ed makes more in one day, than the average worker makes all year long," the script reads. "Now Ed's retiring with a seventy-three-million-dollar golden parachute. The Republican prescription for the health insurance crisis -- be as rich as Ed ... you'll be happy too."

The spot pushes the same strategy that Democrats in Congress -- particularly House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, (D-Calif.) -- have been following for the past week: Make health insurance companies the villain and denounce Republicans for upholding the status quo. It's reminiscent of how Wall Street executives served as foils during the debate over Obama's stimulus and budget packages.

As an AUC staffer acknowledged in an email, "This is just the first step in a new push from those who favor reform to sharpen the message and put focus where the focus should be -- on the private insurance industry."

The spot will begin airing nationally tomorrow and is one of the first in what promises to be a contentious August recess.

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