AHIP Launches Health Reform Ad Campaign

HealthLeaders Media Staff, July 20, 2009

Health insurers are pushing their health reform agenda in a new national television advertising campaign that is being launched today.

Through its "Campaign for an American Solution," America's Health Insurance Plans, the group that helped squelch the Clinton health reform plan with its "Harry and Louise" ads, is launching its first health reform ad this year called "Illness." AHIP said "Illness" addresses issues that were raised during the group's nationwide listening tour last year.

"One year ago, we began a conversation with the American people," said AHIP President and CEO Karen Ignagni. "Health plans have stepped up and responded to what we heard across the country. Last December, we proposed reforms that would cover all Americans, guarantee coverage for pre-existing conditions, and bend the health care cost curve."

AHIP said the ad "highlights key policy reforms that health plans have proposed, which include new market rules and consumer protections to achieve universal coverage, guarantee coverage for pre-existing conditions, discontinue rating based on health status or gender, and ensure continuity of care and portability of coverage."

The ad calls for health reform that is built on the current employer-based system and does not include a government-run plan "that would disrupt the quality coverage Americans currently have and want to keep."

In the ad, AHIP suggests that covering all Americans would help make healthcare "as affordable as possible. And the words 'pre-existing condition' become a thing of the past."

"Illness doesn't care where you live . . . or if you're already sick . . . or if you lose your job. Your health insurance shouldn't either," the ad says.

Unlike the fractured nature of healthcare reform 15 years ago, this year's debate has featured stakeholders promoting cooperation. Even so, as the debate has heated up, those same stakeholders have been pushing their own agendas, including health insurers recently conducting polls through automated phone calls. The automated system asks people whether they oppose government-run healthcare. Those who answer that they are against it are asked to provide their information and tell their senators that they oppose the idea.

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