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Harry And Louise Are Back



August 21st, 2008

Harry and Louise, the infamous couple concerned with President Clinton’s health reform plan fifteen years ago are back on the advertising circuit, note several bloggers in today’s Health Wonk Review, hosted by Julie Ferguson of Worker’s Comp Insider. This time, instead of representing the Health Insurance Association of America’s point of view, they are part of a campaign from a wide-ranging coalition including Families USA, American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network, American Hospital Association, Catholic Health Association, and National Federation of Independent Business. In the 2008 ad, unveiled this week, concerns are rising health care costs, being uninsured, and falling through the cracks of the insurance system. Now Harry and Louise are asking the presidential candidates to put health reform on the agenda.

Today’s Health Wonk Review, the biweekly round-up of the best of health policy blogging, also links to a side-by-side comparison of Obama and McCain’s views on health care.

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  1. Blogtica.com » Harry And Louise Are Back
    August 21st, 2008 at 1:24 pm

3 Responses to “Harry And Louise Are Back”

  1. AHart Says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if politics (like policy) were an exercise in thought and not emotion?

  2. Jane Hiebert-White Says:

    Love it or hate it, the power of the “Harry and Louise” ad is very interesting from a public policy viewpoint. Indeed, one of Obama’s health advisers, Gregg Bloche, who is a professor of law at Georgetown, wrote last fall: “The “Harry and Louise” ads that doomed the Clinton plan worked by making a connection with the average person’s worries about losing out in the health reform reshuffle.”

    And nearly a decade ago, Fitzhugh Mullan, a pediatrician and creator of Health Affairs’ Narrative Matters section pointed to the advertising couple in his introductory essay: “The Harry and Louise anti-Health Security Act television ads of 1994 are potent examples of the use of anecdote (out of context, synthetic, and dramatized, to be sure) to sway public opinion about health policy.”

  3. Neil Gardner Says:

    What a God awful way to make important public policy! If anything, Harry and Louise should be blamed for the mess we are in because of the scare tactics they represented and used to prevent badly needed reforms back in the early 90s. Talk about being discredited!

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