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Budget War Intensifies As Spitzer Resumes TV Ads

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The truce in the advertising war between Governor Eliot Spitzer and a hospital group barely lasted a day. Wednesday, the tough words continued coming from both sides. NY1’s Josh Robin filed the following report.

Governor Eliot Spitzer's public events these days are growing familiar. He appears with supporters of his controversial health-care plan -- and then laces into those opposing it.

"Why they are doing these things are beyond me," said the governor.

The Îthey’ the governor referred to are the Republican state senators backing a well-funded hospital lobby in opposing Spitzer -- the same lobby that is in an intensifying airwave war with the governor.

"This is not a battle where I will let them mislead the public, where I will let them generate fear and create almost a hysteria,” said Spitzer.

He will not let them, so he said Wednesday that he is putting ads on again, paid out of his campaign chest.

"We are very troubled by the governor's unwillingness to cool his rhetoric regarding our call to enact real reform that truly puts patients first,” responded the healthcare group in a statement. “We are therefore resuming our efforts to educate New Yorkers about the negative effects of his massive budget cuts.”

The cuts are hardly massive, Spitzer retorts. They let Medicaid money flow to Medicaid patients, while insuring more people.

In fact, he suggests the slashes would be painless if hospital chief executive officers took home less money.

"The CEOS of these hospitals should distance themselves right away and immediately from this false and misleading campaign,” said the governor. “Those that do not, in my book, do not believe in health care quality for the State of New York."

Spitzer's toughness is backed up with veto power and apparently the votes to prevent an override.

-Josh Robin

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