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Thank you to the entire panel for an excellent presentation on how managed care organisations can become involved with community-based activities, particularly by using media, but not exclusively by using media. Let me mention because of the focus on media here that the spots [television and radio advertisements] shown, which were used in Colorado and Washington, are available to any managed care organisation to use through our office. We have them in what we call the Media Campaign Resource Center. We decided that, rather than developing new spots ourselves, our time would be better spent acquiring the right to use other people’s spots.
When I first came to the Office on Smoking and Health, we were producing award-winning spots. We would spend a couple of hundred thousand dollars to develop a 30-second spot, which is typical. Then we would win an award for its creative quality. But then it would never be shown, because we would not have any money to place it. So we decided to reverse our strategy. We decided not to develop any new spots, but to acquire existing spots, particularly those developed through California, Arizona and Massachusetts, which have earmarked tax funds, and then to make the spots available to others. The money we spent previously paying for creative development is now being spent to obtain the rights and to pay licensing and talent fees so that other states could use the spots which we have acquired. That is something that can benefit all of you. If you want to replicate some of these media approaches, they are available for you.
In the President’s budget, our funding for state health departments went from $5 million in 1997 to $12 million in 1998. In the President’s budget for fiscal year 1999, it will be $51 million. So there will be a ten-fold increase in the resources we will have at CDC to support state-based tobacco control activities. We are going to do all that we can to insist that managed care organisations are part of that effort. We are going to emphasise that states are obligated to work collaboratively with managed care organisations and vice versa. We encourage you to work collaboratively with the state health department to make sure resources are used in a way that is as efficient as possible.
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