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Health Experts Decry "Harry & Louise" Tactics

Health Experts Decry "Harry & Louise" Tactics

February 27, 2008

Nineteen health policy experts (one MA signer -- MIT's Jon Gruber) issue an open letter to presidential candidates complaining about the tone of the dialogue on health care, key excerpt:

Unfortunately, the Obama campaign is circulating in Ohio and elsewhere its “Harry and Louise” mailers that unfairly and unconstructively attack Senator Clinton’s universal health care reform plan. These mailers purposely revive “Harry and Louise,” the actors hired by the insurance industry to help destroy health reform in the first Clinton Administration. They make the inaccurate claim that the plan would force people to purchase unaffordable health insurance. Senator Clinton’s plan clearly recognizes that universal coverage cannot be achieved unless health coverage is affordable, and her plan provides subsidies to ensure it is affordable.

The “Harry and Louise” mailer literally takes a page from the playbook of the health insurance industry and other special interests which spent over $300 million to kill any meaningful healthcare reform in 1993-94. It undermines serious dialogue on needed changes to the health care system.

We call on all candidates for President to recommit to a civil, positive discourse that does not undermine the larger goal of quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans. To that end, we urge Senator Obama’s campaign to cease using a mailing that is clearly inconsistent with this goal.

Click here for the New Republic take on the issue, as well as the full letter and all signatories.