ABC is refusing to air a national ad by The League of American Voters, featuring a neurosurgeon asking the question, “How can Obama’s plan cover over 50 million new patients without any new doctors?”

ABC justified the decision by pointing to a long-standing policy against running partisan commercials. Dick Morris, a onetime advisor to former President Bill Clinton and chief strategist for the League of American Voters, called the ABC decision “the ultimate act of chutzpah.” As he explains:

“ABC is the network that turned itself over completely to Obama for a daylong propaganda fest about health care reform,” he said. “For them to be pious and say they will not accept advertising on health care shuts their viewers out from any possible understanding of both sides of this issue.”

Fox News reports that NBC may also choose not to run the ad.

I suggest we respond to this abuse of the public airwaves by creating a little homegrown balance. Forward the commercial to friends and family, and while you’re at it, steer them to Acton’s health care page, which includes this piece on “The Problem with Socialized Government Healthcare.”


  • Dave K

    While I am firmly opposed to ANY government intervention in health care, I do not like this ad. A great deal of effort has gone into attempting to explain to Americans that most of the nearly 50 million without health insurance are still getting health care. This ad suggests they don’t, but they will under the proposed plan, thereby creating an increased demand for doctors. It is wrong for the media to refuse to run this ad, but the ad itself is a disservice to our efforts.

  • John

    No health care reform until Obama proves he’s legally President! People don’t care about health care, but real Americans care about the RULE OF LAW. No birth certificate = NOT PRESIDENT! At least Republicans know this REPUBLIC is a NATION OF LAWS!

  • Roger McKinney

    That’s a good point, Dave, but don’t you think that the 50 million who get healthcare now without insurance will consume more with insurance?

  • Ed Peitler

    I keep posing the question to everyone who talks about “health care” just how “health care” is operationally defined. Is it access to two aspirins every 4 hours for a headache, or does it include knee and hip replacements for everyone who wants and needs one? How can we actually discuss what constitutes “care” in a vacuum. Are there limits or not? If and there are, who will decide what the boundaries of payable health care are? Please, please someone answer me.

  • Neal Lang

    “This ad suggests they don’t, but they will under the proposed plan, thereby creating an increased demand for doctors. It is wrong for the media to refuse to run this ad, but the ad itself is a disservice to our efforts.”

    You obviously don’t understand the economics of it. Those 50 million don’t utilize the medical system now, unless they really need. This minimizes both the “Health Care” costs, as well as, the strain on the Medical system in this country. However, when they are “forced” to accept “free” Health Care, the will use it, with any thought as to its cost. This will create excess demand on a system that is already straining do to current “free” government Health programs, and employer subsidized health insurance.

    Economic 101 – ye ole “Supply and Demand Curve” – no cost(?) the demand goes up, however, the supply pipeline for medical staff and facilities is years. This leads to shortages, which in turn leads to RATIONING. (See the English/Canadian Systems as an examples.)

  • Neal Lang

    “No health care reform until Obama proves he’s legally President!”

    No health care reform until the Legislative, the Executive, and the Judicial Branches, including all elected, appointed, and civil service members and employees are force on the same system as the rest of us. Want to bet that Obama would have a hard time getting SEIU members to attend “Town Hall Meetings” to shout down concerned citizens if that provision was included in the bill?

  • Neal Lang

    “I keep posing the question to everyone who talks about “health care” just how “health care” is operationally defined. Is it access to two aspirins every 4 hours for a headache, or does it include knee and hip replacements for everyone who wants and needs one? How can we actually discuss what constitutes “care” in a vacuum. Are there limits or not? If and there are, who will decide what the boundaries of payable health care are? Please, please someone answer me.”

    Actually, the turn “Health Care” is a “red herring.” What is truly on the block is America’s “Medical Care System.” Today, mostly because of government mandated actions, most medical care cost impacts very few folks, and even most of them indirectly. Such things a medical benefits, either employer or government provided, pay for substantially most of the medical care in our country. The private employer medical insurance benefit is a result of Federal Wage and Price control enacted during WWII, and continued to grow afterwards. The government involvement which had been limited to just Veteran medical services until the 1960s, exploded in the 1960s with LJB “MediCare” for retirees, and shortly thereafter with universal “MedicAide” with the States picking up a big pportion of this Federal Mandate.

    Taken together, these programs created a disconnect between the person receiving the medical care, the person charging for the medical care, and the person paying for the medical care. To say that such a system might cause overuse of the system and overcharging for the services is an understatement.

    Compounding these problems were items such as extreme tort settlements, causing even the good doctors to be overly cautious in their diagnosis, and treatment, by prescribing many tests that were run simply as a “defensive medicine” technique. Additional, medical liability rates soared, causing medical practicianers much higher operation overhead expenses. These insurance fees, when added to the additional clerical staff a doctor had to employ in order to get paid by the government or private insurer that required reams of papewrwork and “red tape” raised the cost medical services at every level.

    Additional causes of the condition of our present medical situation is that in the last 4 or so decades medical science has exploded, providing cures and treatments undreamed about in the 1950s. Additionally, miracle patent medicines have been developed that can save patients who would have died only 10 years ago. These medical advancements while life saving and life preserving are also very expensive, and their cost impacts the medical system by creating more and more specialization, and the large investment on the electronics and equipment involved in medicine. Compounding this is the fact that through these medical miracles people live long at the time of their lives that they require more medical attention. Finally, with regards to the miracle patent drugs, most are developed here in the US because of our still open “free market” medical system is willing to pay the cost of developing these new medicines. In fact, the US is about the only country in the World where the developers can recope their development costs on patent drugs. Of course, there is a benefit of using these new medicines in treating patients, as the alternative is usually hospitalization and emergency treatment. Other countries by these drug in mass, but will pay generally only the cost of making the drugs and none of the development costs. In all likelihood, should the US go socialized medicine, than the development of new “life saving” medicines will be curtailed for the whole World.

    That is the state of our present US medical system. Obviously there is room to improve it. However, the biggest improvement might just be getting the government out of the system completely and letting the patient negotiate and pay for their own medical care and a complete “free market” – leaving indigent care to private charity and the churches, as it was for a thousand years.

  • Neal Lang

    “Is it access to two aspirins every 4 hours for a headache, or does it include knee and hip replacements for everyone who wants and needs one?”

    A hip replacement is a necessity if that is only way you can get out of bed and to work in morning. And just who will “call the shots.” Personally, I would prefer it be me, my doctor, and my family, rather than “Dr. Death” in the White House. I would think any sane person would also.

  • Ed Peitler

    I appreciate the comments pertinent to my question about what constitutes health “care.” My point is that once government gets into the act as the sole or major payor, people will be mightily surprised when they find out that the so-called universal health care will mean just about “two aspirins four times a day.” Why, because it is tautological that there will be massive fraud, cost overruns, layers upon layers of administrative costs, etc. There will be rationing on theorder that will knock people’s socks off

  • Roger McKinney

    Neal, those are good points, but the biggest share of health care spending goes to doctor fees and hospital charges. It has been a while since I saw the stat, but doctors and hospitals together make up about 80% of total spending. It seems that drugs were about 5%, but I’m not certain. The split between doctors and hospitals was about 60% for hospitals and 20% for doctors. So we could get the biggest savings from reining in hospital charges. The major culprit with hospitals is 1) a shortage of beds and 2) excess capacity in expensive diagnostic equipment.