"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." ~ Benjamin Franklin

Response from IDPH

>> Monday, March 28, 2005

Some of you may remember my P.S. It's Free post from a couple of weeks ago.

Well, I received a response from the IDPH (Iowa Department of Public Health). Here it is, along with my comments to them:

Message Date: 3/15/2005 3:19:37 PM
Your Name: (last name removed), Jody
Your Message: I heard your newest radio commercial regarding the WIC program on WOW FM. I have sent a copy of this email to them as well.

The final line of the spot states "P.S. It's free".

As a taxpayer in the state of Iowa I am offended by that statement. WHile the program may be free to the recepients it is certainly not free for the taxpayers. And it is disrespectful to the taxpayers of you to make such statement.

Response Date: 3/17/2005 8:04:05 AM
IDPH Contact Name: Dobson, Brenda
IDPH Response: Thank you for your message. The National WIC Association is currently airing a WIC outreach campaign. They coordinated the development of the radio and other ads. One spot does close with the statement, P.S. It doesn't cost anything. This ad is targeted to potential clients of the program to let them know they can access the program at no charge.

Yes, the WIC Program is supported by taxpayers, including program participants. The program does save significant taxpayer money by connecting participants with health insurance and ongoing health care. One study reported that every dollar spent on WIC for a pregnant woman saves $3.00 in Medicaid costs in the first 12 months of the child's life -- and savings continue past the first birthday.

The Iowa WIC Program has no control over the ad placement and content. We will share your concern with the National WIC Association.

Ok, so I was wrong. It actually said "P.S. It doesn't cost anything." That doesn't really change the message, though, does it?

I still think that saying "it doesn't cost anything" is misleading. That kind of thought keeps people ignorant of how public services are actually provided. Why not tell people who use these services where they come from?

Now, granted, some people know. But many don't. And ads like this don't teach them any different.

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