As the health care debate heats up in Washington, special interest groups have made a special effort to reach out to African-Americans. The left-leaning nonprofit Americans United for Change is spending $500,000 on television and radio ads to encourage black communities around the country to reach out to their congressional representatives on the importance of voting on health reform.
“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,” said a AUFC spokesperson.
The outreach is being done in part to help maintain a Democratic majority in Congress. According to a recent poll by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, the economy and health care are top issues that would motivate African Americans to go out to vote in November.
In addition, black radio and television are being targeted and Black Entertainment Television (BET) will receive $125,000 to run the organization’s ads.
Part of the AUFC radio script goes as follows:
“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.”
Also, AUFC has launched a viral online campaign targeting blacks with a YouTube video, using footage of President Obama explaining his case for health reform.
The organization is known for using powerful ad campaigns to target specific groups on issues they push for. They are also using a similar campaign simultaneously to reach out to government employees with the help of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. They are spending $200,000 on a television ad, which will run Wednesday through Friday on cable news stations in Washington, D.C. and on Thursday and Friday during the NCAA college basketball tournament on CBS.
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