Patients' Bill Of Rights

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CBS
The CBS News Political Unit is tracking the latest campaign commercials. Steve Chaggaris takes a look at a new Democratic National Committee ad discussing a possible patients' bill of rights and HMO reform.


The Ad: "Patients' Bill of Rights" is the next in a series of issue ads the Democratic National Committee plans to release during this year's election season. The 30-second ad lays out Vice President Al Gore's plan to reform health insurance companies and HMOs and give patients and doctors more control over their treatment options. It began running Monday in 17 states: the same 15 states the first DNC issue ad ran - mainly in the Northwest, Midwest and South - plus Arkansas and Maine.

Audio: Announcer (with smooth, upbeat music): The issue - a real Patients' Bill of Rights.

Gore: "You better believe that there are insurance companies out there that don't want to see changes that will give the decisions on your health care back to the doctors and the nurses."

Announcer: The Al Gore plan ensures patients access to specialists. Safeguards to make sure doctors - not bureaucrats make medical decisions. Stops HMOs from withholding information on treatment options to save money. Taking on the insurance companies to pass a Patients' Bill of Rights once and for all.

Visual: The ad begins with a shot of a nurse pushing a wheelchair-bound senior citizen down a hospital corridor. The words "the issue: A real Patients' Bill of Rights" are on the screen. That dissolves into footage of Al Gore speaking to a forum about health insurers. Following Gore's sound bite, there are several pictures of doctors, nurses, patients and average Americans. The words "The Gore Plan: Ensures access to specialists," "The Gore Plan: Doctors make medical decisions," and "The Gore Plan: More treatment options" appear during that montage. The ad ends with a shot of Gore and two doctors walking in a hospital hallway with "The Gore Plan: A real Patients' Bill of Rights" and the Gore Plan Web site on the screen.

Fact Check: No inaccuracies.

Strategy: "Patients' Bill of Rights" continues the DNC's issue ad blitz - funded mainly by soft money donations - designed to benefit Vice President Gore's campaign. Like the DNC's first ad, "Prescription Drugs," which focused on helping senior citizens with their drug costs, this ad continues the effort to change Gore's image, focusing on positive issues as opposed to attacking George W. Bush. And with the ad's release, the DNC also remains a step ahead of the Republicans in the issue ad war, putting out this spot - its third - a week after the RNC began airing their first ad which touts Bush's Social Security plan.