March 14th, 2010
02:50 PM ET
13 years ago

Millions being spent on TV to influence health care debate

Washington (CNN) - Upwards of $1 million a day is expected to be spent on health care television ads this week, as interest groups work overtime to try to influence Congress before the House votes on President Obama's top domestic priority.

Health care commercials all but vanished from the airwaves in late January after Republicans scored an upset victory in the Massachusetts special election to replace the late Sen. Edward Kennedy. Republican Scott Brown's win gave the GOP the crucial 41st vote needed to sustain a filibuster to block passage of the Democratic health care reform bill.

Now, as Democrats try to pass the legislation later this week without Republican support, outside groups are weighing in.

Last year, special interest groups spent a combined $200 million just on TV ads as Congress struggled to agree on how to overhaul the nation's health care system, said Evan Tracey, a CNN consultant and president of Campaign Media Analysis Group.

Ad spending hit a high in 2009 following last August's raucous town hall meetings. "At its peak, advertising levels were exceeding $1 million a day," Tracey said.

Tracey noted that during last week alone, interest groups spent a combined $600,000 on health care ads. The spending increased to about $600,000 by Saturday and very likely will grow to $1 million at the beginning of this week.

Among the many organizations taking to the airwaves: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Future Fund, Americans United for Change and

Filed under: Extra • Health care • TV ad spending
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Denna

    Good for the White House. It is time that they go on the offensive and take their case straight to the people. It is time that they let us know what is going on instead of all ideas being filtered through Orange Man Boner and his minions. Despite what the GOP says, most people do want a health care bill and they do not think that starting over will be helpful. They do want someone to reign in the insurance company abuses. Seriously, what other business can take your money and tell you to go jump in the lake when you expect service for which you have already paid? President Obama is driven by the real life stories he hears about. The GOP is driven by their desire to be an absolute power in this country.

    March 14, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  2. Monkey wrench

    Yep, when the non-producers out number the producers and figure out they can vote themselves something to be paid for by the producers, it is game over. Welcome to Greece, coming soon to an America near you!

    March 14, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  3. johnmccain

    It clearly shows that all the protest is about money, profit, not the health and the well being of this nation. What selfishness! Shame!
    A well being of a nation strengthens the nation itself and elevate its potentials on all levels, otherwise America will fall apart under this magnitude of hatred. There are countries in the world that have been through with long lasting wars and suffering but made progress, pulled together. The US enjoyed long lasting progress throughout the years of its existence.
    Now, what I see is nothing but bloody screaming of nonsense (nazism, communism) and most of those who do that would not even know what those words really mean. Not even mentioning that all these screams and stone throwing is disguised as religious guidance. Religion kills, folks, along with stupidity!!

    March 14, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  4. jules sand-perkins

    Why buy TV ads?
    Obama doesn't care what citizens think about his goals for them.
    He should give millions of dollars to each undecided Democrat to secure the votes needed for his agenda.

    March 14, 2010 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |