WASHINGTON (CNN) – The House adjourned last week for the annual summer recess, but Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, left behind a video for President Obama.
Boehner’s office will release a Web video Monday morning splicing together Obama’s comments about health care reform with footage from a 1980’s television commercial of an actor declaring, “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV.”
The Ohio Republican is seeking to promote the idea that Obama’s plan to have the federal government offer a health insurance option is bad policy.
“Like the old joke goes, President Obama isn’t a doctor, but he plays one on TV - giving Americans a discomforting glimpse of life under ObamaCare, with government leaders and bureaucrats dispensing medical opinions that are better left to doctors, medical professionals, and patients,” Boehner said in an email statement to CNN. “This is a lighthearted video, but it underscores a serious point that Congressional Democrats are going to hear throughout August as they travel outside of Washington: Americans want lower health care costs – not a trillion-dollar government takeover of health care that increases costs and lets Washington bureaucrats make decisions that should be made by doctors and patients.”
Updated with DNC response after the jump:
Campaign Media Analysis Group President Evan Tracey estimates that at least $50 million has been spent this year on television ads to try and influence the health care debate. Many more people will see a TV commercial than a Web video, but the videos are relatively inexpensive to produce. And the creators of such videos hold out hope that their video will go viral and become a major talking point on the blogs.
For the next month, the battle over health care reform moves from Washington out to the heartland as members of congress head back home to appear in front of their constituents at town hall meetings and forums.
Updated at 11:30 a.m. ET:
"John Boehner isn't an insurance company executive, but he sure plays one in the U.S. House of Representatives," DNC National Press Secretary Hari Sevugan said. "That's the only explanation for admittedly working to 'kill' health insurance reform while premiums for the average American family are rising three times faster than their wages, while small businesses are choosing between offering coverage and creating jobs, and when controlling runaway health care costs is necessary to get the economy fully back on track. John Boehner and the Republicans that would follow him may not officially be insurance agents, but in working to 'kill' reform they are proving that they are certainly agents of the status quo."