Obama’s new ad is clever, but why aren’t they taking the open shot?

One of the few virtues of getting on a plane and leaving California is that you get to see Presidential political ads on actual TV. Obama has a new ad about health care which explicitly attacks “government run health care” on the left of an arrow and then attacks unregulated insurance companies on the right end. Geddit? Yup it’s 1996 Bill Clinton all over again. The man is a triangulator. Or an arrownator…

(Apologies for the poor quality but it’s the only version I can find online).

Obama’s plan is in the middle of the arrow of course. It’s a little bizarre that he attacks government-run health care — given that his plan involves both extending FEBHP and creating a separate version of Medicare/Medicaid that everyone can buy into. And of course Medicare is the most popular health insurance plan in the nation by a long way. I think the government still runs it.

But I guess that’s just politics. And of course nothing as major as what he’s talking about is going to happen once he gets elected anyway, (as I’ve been saying for more than a year).

But talking about politics, what I cannot get over is how the Obama team has not bothered to connect the McCain plan’s designs to push more people into the individual insurance market to specific actions of health insurers in California. There are still smart intelligent people running major health care lobbying organizations in DC (one of who I had dinner with last week in my professional life) who still have not heard about the retroactive policy cancellations in California despite the fact that all of the big insurers were doing it. And yet McCain’s plan is designed to explicitly put people into a situation where they’re at the mercy of those insurers!

This isn’t hard to explain. Why isn’t the Obama campaign featuring it? Especially as he’s now talking about health care. They are not taking the open shot (or as the English say, they’re missing an open goal!)