Thursday, May 28, 2009

Send a Message to NBC

This Sunday, following Meet the Press, a 30-minute "infomercial" attacking a public healthcare option is set to air on NBC. The ad is the work of disgraced former hospital CEO Rick Scott and his group "Conservatives for Patients' Rights."

Rick Scott has a track record of deceit.

Scott's previous ads contained blatantly false statements and misleading excerpts of interviews with healthcare professionals. If Scott's 30-minute "documentary" contains falsehoods, NBC could be liable for an FCC violation and serious fines. Furthermore, Meet the Press needs to know that their credibility is being used by Rick Scott, and will be tarnished by the association to these swiftboat style attacks.

Lawyers from the Service Employees International Union have sent a letter to NBC demanding they don't run the ad. It is up to us to back them up with the voices of thousands of viewers demanding action.


DFA and our partners are not the only organizations raising serious questions about Rick Scott and Conservatives for Patients Right's credibility. The highly-respected website Factcheck-org, run by the non-partisan Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, has labeled Scott's prior advertisement as "very misleading."

CPR's weak rebuttal to these criticisms should have given NBC pause before agreeing to air the latest iteration of these advertisements in the full "documentary".  Essentially, CPR's rebuttal conceded that it is painting a scenario that has not been proposed by President Obama or Democratic Congressional leaders and, indeed, Factcheck-org labeled CPR's response as "nonsense."

Based on Rick Scott and Conservatives for Patient Rights records, this 30-minute fake "documentary" will be false, deceitful, and filled with distortions. It is up to us to stop NBC from running the ad.


As a back-up, if we don't succeed in stopping NBC from showing the fake "documentary," we've joined with other healthcare reform advocates and organizations to shoot a 1 minute rebuttal ad featuring Governor Howard Dean, M.D. to run immediately afterwards.

Time is not on our side right now, so we're working as fast as we can. We must send NBC a strong message.

Let's hope we don't need to show our rebuttal ad. Let's get NBC to do the right thing and stop the swiftboating of a public option and Obama's healthcare reform.

Thank you for everything you do.


Charles Chamberlain, Political Director
Democracy for America

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The organization behind this has had an ad running for several weeks to the effect that government-run health care is bad because people will be denied care, care will be delayed, etc., resulting in permanent problems.
Talk to people who already have their employer-provided health insurance through an HMO, and you'll find that they've been suffering these same problems at the hands of the HMO for years; the only difference is that the HMO makes a huge profit which is passed along to their stockholders, which government-run health care does not.
Personally, the first time I got sick, I had gold-plated health insurance that would have covered anything I wanted or needed.  But what it couldn't guarantee me was a doctor who knew anything about my disease.  He refused to acknowledge that the problems had all started with a flu-like illness months before, and created a psychiatric explanation that didn't fit the facts, but satisfied his need to write something in the records so he could stop looking for a physical explanation.
Again, when I entered this relapse, I had insurance that would have paid more to the doctor, the more that was done for me.  I was refused requested tests not because the insurance said No, but because the doctor had already decided that the only thing that could possibly be wrong with a divorcee was that she was depressed, and that no further tests or medication was required. 
You can't blame my INSURANCE for the fact that I deteriorated to the point I'll never fully recover; they paid in full every bill that was presented to them in that time period -- the problem was doctor incompetence, and that will exist no matter who is paying the bill.
I am convinced that this Conservatives for Patients Rights is not concerned with YOUR rights to good medical care, but with the insurance companies (and their stock holders) who will lose their huge profits if the government takes over health insurance. 

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