Gore Calls For HMO Reform

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The CBS News Political Unit is tracking the latest campaign commercials. Candice Berry checks out Al Gore's 'Bean Counter' ad calling for HMO reform. Its positive tone was chosen to contrast with George W. Bush's recent attack ad.

The Ad:
The Gore-Lieberman campaign has issued yet another ad trumpeting its health-care agenda, this time focusing on HMO reform. The 30-second ad, titled Bean Counter, reinforces Gore's support for a Patient's Bill of Rights that gives patients and doctors more control over their medical treatment options. Bean Counter is Gore's second largest post-convention media buy, airing in the following 17 key battleground states: Arkansas, Delaware, Kentucky, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

"If your doctor says you need a particular specialist or some treatment; if you've got an HMO or an insurance company, a lot of times some bean counter behind a computer terminal - who doesn't have a license to practice medicine and doesn't have a right to play God - will overrule the doctor's orders. I'm telling you we need a Patient's Bill of Rights to take the medical decisions away from the HMOs and insurance companies."

The ad begins with Gore, clad in jean shirt and pants, standing before a backdrop of plush greenery emphatically stating the tenets of his HMO reform agenda. Subsequent scenes give view to Gore's audience - a sea of senior Americans listening, some clapping and waving as Gore speaks.

Fact Check:
This ad is consistent with Gore's stance as vice president and presidential candidate for a Patient's Bill of Rights that gives patients and doctors more control over their treatment options.

This ad replaced the biographical ad which had been running since the Democratic Convention. It was timed to begin the day of a major health care rally attended by both Al Gore and Joe Lieberman in Seattle. Gore has been on a roll in the past week on the issues of prescription drugs and health care and the campaign thinks they have a particularly strong advantage on these issues over George W. Bush.

In addition, the Gore campaign is touting this ad as a contrast to the Republicans, who jsut put out an ad attacking Gore's veracity. They say they are taking the "high road" by stressing issues while the Republican ad attacks Gore's character. The DNC also tabled a negative ad attacking Bush's Texas record to try to put the focus on the RNC attack ad. However, the DNC continues to run an ad criticizing Bush for the lack of a specific plan on prescription drugs for the elderly.