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TV ad war begins over health overhaul

AP/Yahoo News, July 7, 2009
Television commercials are expected to grow this summer in both numbers and criticism as detailed health bills emerge from Congress and dozens of interest groups, companies, and labor unions tussle over influencing lawmakers. Through June 27, $31 million has been spent for roughly 47,000 TV ads on healthcare this year, says Evan Tracey, president of the Campaign Media Analysis Group, a firm that tracks issue advertising. That's double the roughly $14 million the insurance industry spent in 1993 and 1994 for the famous "Harry and Louise" ads credited with helping kill President Bill Clinton's healthcare drive, but a fraction of the $250 million Tracey guesses will ultimately be spent this year.