An Effective Slogan: No Health Insurance: It's Enough to Make You Sick

Developing a communications strategy to advance the health coverage issue

During the summer of 2000, staff at the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM) tested the effectiveness of advertising messages designed to move opinion leaders to support health care reform that deals with the problem of the uninsured.

The organization, based in Washington, is the nation's largest medical specialty society and its second-largest physician organization.

Key Results

  • The American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine created 30-second paid public education messages on CNN's Inside Politics and Crossfire that were designed to address two misconceptions that staff identified in voter focus groups:
    • That most of the uninsured are unemployed.
    • That free clinics and hospital emergency rooms provide adequate care to the uninsured.
  • These messages were televised 20 times over a two-week period in October 2000. A related banner ad appeared on the "all politics," health and home page sections of CNN's website. Taken together, these ads reached an audience of almost 16 million people.

    Other venues for disseminating the message included press conferences, op-ed pieces and news releases.