As I'm sure many of you saw on Monday Americans United For Change released a new ad going after the health insurance industry. You can watch entire ad below:

The premise of the ad is direct. The health insurance industry is fighting real health care reform, including the public plan, because insurers and the executives are making record profits from the broken health insurance system. They don't want health insurance reform where they would have to lower their prices and compete against a public insurance option.

But as Greg Sargent pointed out this afternoon, CNN is now refusing to air the ad because "it unnecessarily singles out an individual company and person."

What on earth is going on at CNN?

The network — already taking criticism for declining to run an ad criticizing Lou Dobbs — is now refusing to run an ad nationally criticizing the insurance industry, the group that tried to place the ad tells me.

CNN’s reason: The ad “unnecessarily” singles out a top insurance industry executive by name for criticism.


That very well may be CNN’s policy. But AUC maintains that the mention of Cigna’s CEO was necessary to dramatize the enormous stake the insurance industry has in the health care wars. What’s more, AUC argues, the industry is made up of companies that are run by individuals deciding how to spend huge money to impact the health care debate — so why are they off limits?

“The bottom line question is: Would CNN run ads from Cigna that are positive about the company?” Funk asks. “If yes, why would they turn down an ad critical of the company for their role in trying to kill health insurance reform?”

It's hard to have a conversation about health insurance reform when you can't talk about the health insurers who are made the health insurance mess in the first place and are profiting while 14,000 Americans lose their health insurance daily. They have always had the power to stop disqualifying people with pre-existing conditions, "rescinding" policies when policy holders get seriously ill, and raising premiums based on past medical history. But they haven't done any of those things because it would hurt their bottom line.

So we (American's United For Change) have set up petition to CNN asking them to allow us to air the ad. At the end of the day CNN is doing a disservice to their viewers if we can't talk about health insurance companies while the nation is debating health insurance reform.

*I'm proud to work with American's United For Change on their advocacy campaigns.

Updated title to make it clear that it's not an ad for health insurance. ;) Thanks for the recommendations.

Originally posted to kombiz on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 04:20 PM PDT.

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