KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Health Care TV Ads Top $100 Million

Spending on health care reform advertisements on television has topped $100 million this year.

"Medical providers, businesses and other groups battling over a health care overhaul have spent more than $100 million this year on television advertising - an enormous sum that highlights the stakes involved," according to the Campaign Media Analysis Group, The Associated Press/The Boston Globe reports. "It's averaged $1.1 million daily in the past week as Congress has stepped up its work on overhaul legislation. About $47 million has been spent for ads favoring a health overhaul and another $32 million has gone to opposing the effort. The rest has been spent for ads that talk generally about health care" (9/29).

Meanwhile, Roll Call reports on some of the lobbyist winners and losers in the Senate Finance Bill. Lobbyists for clinical laboratories successfully "mounted an intense effort to try to kill a proposed new tax that targeted the industry." The labs "agreed to accept a temporary reduction in the industry's Medicare fee schedule update ... but will not be slapped with a new tax." 

"Many groups and industry players are finding it difficult to navigate the Finance markup and the possible 564 amendments that could end up on the table. But the biotech industry managed to scale back one amendment, offered by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), that deals with follow-on, or generic, biologics." Medical device makers, on the other hand, "have not yet been able to cut a deal to get rid of a new tax worth some $40 billion over 10 years" (Ackley, 9/30).

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