Cato Institute to Launch Ad Campaign Against Government-Run Health Care

July 22, 2009

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The Cato Institute will launch an ad campaign Thursday highlighting under-reported poll data showing Americans’ concerns that current health care reform plans will raise costs, limit choice and reduce the quality of their health care.

The campaign will feature full-page ads in major national newspapers, in addition to radio spots focusing on why government-run health care cannot address the problems of growing costs and lack of coverage for many individuals and families. (For a preview of the print and radio ads, click here.) The campaign will expand in the weeks ahead.

“Our goal is to help the American public navigate terms like ‘a public plan’ and ‘individual or employer mandates’ to understand what is really happening here,” said Ed Crane, founder and president of the Cato Institute. “The bottom line is, most of the plans coming from the White House and congressional leadership will result in a government-run health care system that is really not the best option for most Americans.”

A poll by the Washington Post and ABC News conducted June 18-21 showed that 84 percent of respondents were “very” or “somewhat” concerned that “current efforts to reform the health care system” would increase their health care costs. The survey also showed that 79 percent of respondents were concerned that current efforts would limit their choices of doctors or medical treatments.

“The president has made it clear over the last two weeks that he wants Congress to pass health care reform legislation that will result in families only having one place to turn for health care coverage: Uncle Sam,” said Cato Senior Fellow Michael Tanner. “What the American people will get is less health care for more money, and deficits will skyrocket.”

Cato has also created a new website, healthcare.cato.org, to promote more free market-oriented health care reform proposals.

“It is vital the American people have a place to turn for clear, concise information on the various plans that are being considered in Washington, as well as information on alternative plans that would bring costs down by getting the government out of the health care business,” said Cato Director of Health Policy Studies Michael Cannon.