Thursday, October 15, 2009

Health Insurance industry has another PR failure

Right on the heels of the disaster the health insurance industry suffered when AHIP released it's attack report propaganda piece right before the Senate Finance Committee vote on the health care bill, they now have a second PR disaster. Greg Sargent reports:
CNN has acknowledged in a statement to me that a high-profile Republican commentator who frequently discusses health care on the air is also the media buyer for one of the ad campaigns bankrolled by America’s Health Insurance Plans, the major industry trade group currently waging war against the White House and Dem reform proposals.

CNN tells me his ties to the industry will be disclosed in the future.

The CNN contributor, well-known GOP consultant Alex Castellanos, is best known for producing the racially-charged “Hands” ad, has repeatedly appeared on the network attacking Dem health care plans and the public option, which is strongly opposed by AHIP.

Castellanos’s consulting firm, National Media, also recently placed over $1 million of TV advertising for AHIP, according to info obtained by Media Matters. AHIP’s most recent $1 million ad buy attacks the health care plan as a threat to Medicare.

This connection, you’d think, should be disclosed whenever Castellanos appears on CNN discussing health care. Asked for comment, CNN spokesperson Edie Emery acknowledged the tie and promised full disclosure in the future.
The insurance industry is rapidly digging a hole that leaves them a laughing stock instead of a credible source of information. This is at a time when the entire health insurance industry is set up to be restructured.

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