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Harry and Louise Return to Promote Health Care Reform in New Ad Campaign

August 19, 2008

WASHINGTON, Aug. 19 /PRNewswire/ — Harry and Louise, the iconic couple featured in ads to defeat the Clinton health plan in 1993-1994, are back on television. This time they will lend their voice to strongly encourage health care reform.

The new multi-million dollar ad campaign will air on national television throughout the Democratic and Republican conventions. In light of ever increasing health care costs and increasing numbers of people without health insurance coverage, Harry and Louise will urge the next President and Congress to put health care at the top of the domestic agenda.

The ad campaign is sponsored by five prominent national organizations. Those organizations — the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Catholic Health Association (CHA), Families USA, and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) — represent diverse constituencies with historically different views on health care reform, but they have come together to promote urgent action to resolve the growing health care crisis.

The new ad was shown during a press conference today at the National Press Club. The ad will start airing on Sunday, August 24 and will continue through Sunday, September 7. The ad will be featured on the Sunday network talk shows, national cable networks (CNN, MSNBC, Fox News Channel and Comedy Central) throughout the two-week period of the national party conventions, and on television news programs in Denver and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

The joint campaign effort by the five organizations is intended to communicate the urgency of this crisis and demonstrate the commitment of these diverse groups to meaningful healthcare reform.

“With 47 million uninsured and 25 million underinsured people in America, the deepening health care crisis is jeopardizing the enormous progress we have made against life threatening diseases such as cancer,” said Daniel E. Smith, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). “To win the war on cancer, which will kill more than 560,000 people in America this year, we must improve access to quality, affordable health care throughout the country.”

“Our hospitals and caregivers see first hand the effects that lack of coverage and access have for many people,” said Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association. “We must keep reform at the top of our national priority list.”

“Health care reform is a moral imperative, as well as an urgent practical necessity. CHA and Catholic hospitals across the country support a health care system that serves and protects the dignity of everyone,” said Sr. Carol Keehan, DC, President & CEO, Catholic Health Association.

“Meaningful health care reform will only happen if it is the top and earliest domestic priority of the next President and Congress,” said Ron Pollack, Executive Director of Families USA. “Our diverse organizations will work together to help make that happen.”

“The healthcare situation has reached crisis levels. Our nation’s job creators — the small business owners and mom and pop stores in our communities — are struggling with unsustainable and ever-increasing healthcare costs. Small firms have seen health insurance increases of 129 percent over the last eight years and they are paying more for the same benefits than their larger counterparts by nearly 20 percent,” said Todd Stottlemyer, President and CEO of NFIB. “The healthcare situation is unsustainable if it continues like this. Our nation’s leaders must make healthcare reform a priority, and it must address small businesses’ concerns. Our nation’s job creators can afford no less.”

   **For broadcast quality video, please contact Sue Zoldak at Goddard     Claussen at sue@gcsa.com or 202-306-3012.   

ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy partner of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit http://www.acscan.org/.

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the improvement of health in their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include more than 5,000 member hospitals, health systems and other health care organizations, and 38,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit http://www.aha.org/.

The CHA, founded in 1915, supports the Catholic health ministry’s pursuit of the strategic directions of mission, ethics, and advocacy. As the nation’s largest group of not-for-profit sponsors, systems, and facilities, the ministry is committed to improving the health status of communities and creating quality and compassionate health care that works for everyone. For more information, visit the CHA website at http://www.chausa.org/.

Families USA is the national organization for health care consumers. It is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the achievement of high quality, affordable health care for all Americans. Working at the national, state, and community levels Families USA has earned a national reputation as an effective voice for health care consumers for more than 26 years. For more information, visit http://www.standupforhealthcare.org/ (or http://www.familiesusa.org/).

NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small and independent business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB’s powerful network of grassroots activists send their views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America’s free enterprise system. NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses. More information about NFIB is available online at http://www.nfib.com/newsroom. For information about NFIB’s healthcare campaign, visit http://www.fixedforamerica.com/.

    CONTACTS:     Steve Weiss, ACS CAN (202) 661-5711    Jennifer Armstrong Gay, AHA (202) 626-2342    Fred Caesar, CHA (202) 721-6321    Dave Lemmon, Families USA (202) 628-3030    Stephanie Cathcart, NFIB (202) 314-2056  

American Hospital Association

CONTACT: Steve Weiss of American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network,+1-202-661-5711; or Jennifer Armstrong Gay of American Hospital Association,+1-202-626-2342; or Fred Caesar of Catholic Health Association,+1-202-721-6321; or Dave Lemmon of Families USA, +1-202-628-3030; or StephanieCathcart of National Federation of Independent Business, +1-202-314-2056

Web site: http://www.acscan.org/http://www.aha.org/http://www.chausa.org/http://www.familiesusa.org/




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