Health care reform advocates turn up the heat on Southern Democrats

Health care reform advocates are changing up their tactics this week as they target lawmakers, particularly ones in the South, who have been opposing President Barack Obama's proposal for a public insurance option.Health Care for America Now, a coalition of more than 1,000 health care groups advocating for public health insurance, have launched a 10-day $1.1 million television ad campaign targeting senators in 10 states, including Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, and North Carolina.

The ads, entitled "What If," support Obama's proposal for a public insurance option in his plans to overhaul health care.As Facing South reported earlier this week, conservative-leaning Democrats in Congress -- including Southern lawmakers - have been facing criticism for their opposition to public health insurance.

Urging viewers to call their Senators, the ads asks,"What if we stripped away the $13 billion insurance company profits? The $119 million CEO bonuses?" You can view the ads here:

Other health care reform groups are also using ads to target lawmakers who oppose the public insurance option. As the Wall Street Journal blog reported:
[T]he Democratic-leaning MoveOn.Org is targeting Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu who has voiced opposition to a public insurance option. A 60-second radio ad running in Orleans parish through Wednesday suggests the senator is in the pocket of the health care industry. The ad focuses on financial contributions she has received stating that Landrieu has received "$1.6 million in campaign contributions from the health care industry - the same industry that's now spending millions to stop the president's plan."
Over the past week the Senate has been struggling to find agreement over a public insurance plan. But on Friday House Democrats released a health care reform draft outline that they say will bring down spiraling costs and insure about 95% of Americans. The plan, which would include a public insurance option, would require employers to provide coverage to employees or pay a penalty equal to 8 percent of their payroll.

The Associated Press reported:
Major provisions of the draft bill would impose new responsibilities on individuals and employers to get coverage, end insurance company practices that deny coverage to the sick and create a new government-sponsored plan to compete with private companies.