Blacks Get Special Nudge to Support Healthcare Reform

Pro-Obama group urges African-Americans to support healthcare reform.

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There's a new twist in the prolonged push in Washington for healthcare reform. The pro-Obama group Americans United for Change is spending about $500,000 to encourage blacks to back up their House representatives who vote for healthcare reform. 

"We're officially announcing nearly half a million dollars in TV and radio ads as part of a major coalitional, homestretch ad blitz urging Congress to pass health insurance reform," says a group spokesman. "For our part, we're encouraging predominantly African-American listeners across the country let their members of Congress know that if they stand with them and not the big insurance companies, they will have their backs. 

"There are a number of members of Congress that can use some encouragement in the homestretch that have significant African-American communities in their districts and media markets," he adds. "Also, I'm sure you saw the recent polling finding that about two thirds of black adults in four states say they are closely following news about the upcoming midterm elections, and between 74 percent and 80 percent say they are very likely to vote, according to the poll, conducted by the nonpartisan Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, and that the poll found that the economy and healthcare reform are the top two issues on black voters' minds heading into the midterm election." 

Black media, including minority radio, will be targeted. BET, for example, will get $125,000 to run the first ad. Watch it here or read the ad script below: 

AUFC Radio Script (:60)—"Stand up for us" 

Female Voice Over: Next week, Congress can make history by voting to make health care in America a right. And it's about time. Insurance rates are exploding. ... Some companies are raising rates 39%. And more and more people are losing their insurance coverage. President Obama's plan would rein insurance rates. … prevent the insurance giants from denying coverage when you're sick. And holding down health care costs will help create jobs. But the insurance giants are using every weapon in their arsenal to block reform. We can't let them succeed. 

President Obama, from March 8 speech at Acadia University, Philadelphia: "I want to spend some time talking about this. The price of health care is one of the most punishing costs for families and for businesses and for our government. It forces small businesses to choose between hiring or health care. It's plunging the federal government deeper and deeper into debt." 

Female Voice Over: Make your voice heard … call Congress at 202-225-3121. Tell your member of congress to vote yes on health insurance reform. Tell them if they stand up for us ... We got their back. 

Paid for by Americans United for Change