I think HCAN has the wrong Nevada senator in its sights:
Health Care for America Now (HCAN) – the nation’s largest health care campaign – launched a new television ad in Nevada today aimed at Republican Senator John Ensign. Senator Ensign is a member of the Senate Finance Committee which is voting on health care reform legislation this week. The Senator has already voted down two amendments that would give everyone the choice of a strong national public health insurance option – proof he is siding with the private health insurance industry instead of the people of Nevada.
HCAN is spending $110,000 to run the advertisement for one week on broadcast and cable television in Las Vegas and Reno.
Ensign is not going to vote for any health care reform bill, especially not one with a public option. As part of a health care reform effort, it’s a complete waste of money. The Hill this morning reports that Schumer and other Democratic Senators are targeting "Baucus, along with Sens. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) for additional votes on the public option." HCAN is not running ads about them.
As a political attack ad, however, it’s probably effective. Ensign is on the ropes as disclosures about his extramarital affair leak out, so even if this ad does absolutely nothing for health care reform, it helps the Democratic party.
Atlantic Philanthropies says it has donated $25 million to HCAN "to push President Obama and members of Congress to support a health plan that covers all Americans, includes a government-run insurance program, and makes medical services more accessible to minorities and poor people."
But HCAN has not come out in support of the efforts of the progressive members of Congress who say they will vote against any bill that does not have a public option. I guess they feel that running attack ads against Republicans will get them there.