“Harry and Louise” was a television commercial funded by the Health Insurance Association of America (HIAA) (now called “America’s Health Insurance Plans”), a health insurance industry lobbying group, in opposition to President Bill Clinton‘s proposed health care plan in 1993. The ad depicted a white middle-class couple, portrayed by actors Harry Johnson and Louise Caire Clark, despairing over the bureaucratic nature of the plan and urged viewers to contact their representatives in Congress. The commercial was created by public relations consultants Ben Goddard and Rick Claussen of Goddard Claussen.
The couple returned in several newer advertisements pushing health care reform during the 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns. In 2000, Harry and Louise appeared in a TV commercial sponsored by HIAA promoting its “InsureUSA” campaign advocating the need to provide health coverage to uninsured Americans. 
Later, they returned in an unrelated 2002 ad, produced by Goddard Claussen Porter Novelli (Goddard Claussen was purchased by Porter Novelli in 1999), advocating human cloning for therapeutic purposes on behalf of CuresNow. The second ad was the subject of a lawsuit by the HIAA who claimed that they owned the characters; however, a court ruled that the rights to the characters were held by Goddard Claussen, and it aired during a showing of The West Wing on NBC. This ad was one of several prominent political attack ads parodied in the 78th Academy Awards (March 2006). An older couple sitting at the kitchen table bemoans the “foreign-sounding names” of the best actress nominees, then praises Reese Witherspoon for having an all-American name.
Harry and Louise appeared again in an ad that premiered on August 25, 2008, during the 2008 Democratic National Convention, urging that health care reform be made a top priority. The ad aired again during the Republican National Convention. The 2008 ad was sponsored by several organizations that have, in the past, advocated diverse views on health care, including The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Hospital Association, the Catholic Health Association, Families USA, and the National Federation of Independent Business.
In July 2009, the couple appeared in a new television advertisement in support of the health-care plan promoted by President Barack Obama. The ad was sponsored by a pharmaceutical industry trade group and Families USA.
Alamo City Pundit has obtained an advance copy of the script for a new proposed “Harry and Louise” ad that is in pre-production as we speak:
“HARRY AND LOUISE — No Do-Overs With Healthcare”
SCENE 1: WE SEE THE LAST “HARRY AND LOUISE” COMMERCIAL PLAYING ON A TELEVISION SCREEN. THE CAMERA IS TIGHTLY FOCUSED ON THE SCREEN SO WE SEE NOTHING BUT THE COMMERCIAL PLAYING. THE LINES IN THE TV SCREEN ARE APPARENT. THE CAMERA PULLS BACK SLOWLY TO THE LEFT, REVEALING AN OLDER OBESE WOMAN IN A RECLINER. SHE IS WEARING BLACK SUNGLASSES AND IS CONNECTED TO A DIALYSIS MACHINE WHICH IS OPERATING AND RECYCLING HER BLOOD FROM NEEDLES IN HER ARM. AS THE CAMERA PULLS BACK WE HEAR A MAN GIVING THE VOICE OVER. HE IS SEATED TO THE WOMAN’S LEFT WITH THE DIALYSIS MACHINE BETWEEN THEM, HIS HEAD BOWED. HE IS HARRY, HER HUSBAND, BUT WE DON’T SEE HIS FACE.
TELEVISION: (LOUISE’S VOICE FROM PREVIOUS COMMERCIAL) “A little more cooperation, a little less politics, and we can get the job done!”
HARRY: We sure got the job done, didn’t we? We called out legislators. We demonstrated at the Capitol. We send petitions to our Senators. We bombarded them with faxes and e-mails and Tweets . . .
LOUISE: (Weakly) Harry?
HARRY: And we got our Nationalized Healthcare passed, didn’t we? But we didn’t count on the politicians sneaking in their little pet projects, did we? So there wasn’t enough money, and they started to ration out services. Long lines for a doctor’s visit. Months in many cases. We were trying to make a system to fix the problems of places like the Veterans Administration or the Bureau of Indian Affairs Health Department; and we made something ten times worse . . .
LOUISE: (More Quietly) Harry?
HARRY: And then you gained weight — which lead to diabetes. We made an appointment when you got that sore on your leg that wouldn’t heal . . .
[CAMERA ZOOMS AND PANS ACROSS FOOTRESTS OF RECLINER. WE SEE LOUISE HAS ONLY ONE LEG NOW AS HARRY CONTINUES VOICE-OVER.]
HARRY: . . . But by the time we got an appointment it was ten months later, and too late for your leg.
[CAMERA ZOOMS AND PANS ACROSS LOUISE’S FACE. WE SEE SHE IS WEARING DARK GLASSES AND ONE SIDE OF HER FACE DROOPS. SHE DROOLS AS HARRY CONTINUES VOICE-OVER.]
HARRY: And it was over a year until we saw the eye doctor, and by that time the damage from the diabetes was too sever to save your vision. And then the strokes came.
LOUISE: (Sotto Voce now.) Harry?
HARRY: [RAISES HIS HEAD NOW. WE SEE TEARS STREAMING DOWN HIS FACE.] And then your kidneys failed from the untreated diabetes. [CAMERA PULLS BACK; WE SEE HIS HEAD IS INCLINED ON THE DIALYSIS MACHINE, WHICH CONTINUES TO RUN.] At least the Nationalized Healthcare is paying for your Dialysis treatments, I suppose that’s something.
LOUISE: (Whispering) Harry . . .
HARRY: Why in the world did we eer change our minds on this, Louise? We knew this was a bad idea to start with — why did I ever let you change my mind?
[CAMERA HAS CONTINUED TO PAN BACK UNTIL WE SEE HARRY AND LOUISE ARE ALL ALONE IN THE DIALYSIS CLINIC. AS HARRY FINISHES HIS SOLILOQUY, AN ALARM COMES FROM LOUISE’S HEART MONITOR. SHE SLUMPS FORWARD IN HER CHAIR. NO NURSES RESPOND TO THE ALARM.]
[FADE TO WHITE. TITLES APPEAR OVER WHITE-OUT.]
THERE ARE NO DO-OVERS WITH YOUR LIFE.
DON’T FIX HEALTH CARE IF IT’S NOT BROKEN.