INSURERS NOW WANT CLINTONS AS AD PALS

By Published on .

WASHINGTON-Harry and Louise have invited their Pennsylvania Avenue neighbors, Bill and Hillary, to join them in a series of healthcare ads.

The Health Insurance Association of America, sponsor of a now notorious $13 million campaign attacking parts of the Clinton healthcare plan, last week extended an olive branch-kind of-to the White House.

The HIAA, noting it backs more of the Clinton plan than it opposes, in a letter proposed joint advertising with the White House to highlight their "shared goals and our willingness to work together to achieve them."

The HIAA also requested that President Clinton ask the Healthcare Reform Project to end what the insurer group called "misleading, inaccurate and inflammatory" ads.

An HIAA spokesman said print ads from the reform project "suggest that all they stand for is opposed by the insurance industry."

The reform project is a pro-Clinton coalition of labor, business and consumer groups, handled by Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter & Associates, Washington; Heater Easdon, Boston; and Zimmerman, Markman, Santa Monica, Calif.

A reform project spokesman called the HIAA letter "a publicity stunt" and speculated that "maybe the HIAA is starting to feel like some of our ads are getting to them."

The White House is legally prohibited from doing any paid advertising, said the administration's healthcare spokeswoman.

The reform project is continuing its TV campaign in selected states. The HIAA's "Harry & Louise" campaign wrapped up last month. Goddard Claussen/First Tuesday, Malibu, Calif., created the insurance group's ads.

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