Conservative group continues to pile money into anti-Obamacare ads
November 7th, 2013
11:06 AM ET
1 year ago

Conservative group continues to pile money into anti-Obamacare ads

(CNN) - Conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity's anti-Obamacare efforts have now topped $7.6 million in spending over the last few weeks with Thursday's announcement of a new $1.7 million ad buy.

According to a release, the ad buy marks the group's third wave of TV, radio and web ads going after the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. As the ads have done in the past, the new round will applaud lawmakers who've opposed the law and blast those who've supported it.

Most recently, AFP launched an even larger buy late last month of $2 million that went after vulnerable Democratic Senators Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.

This time, Republican Reps. Joe Heck of Nevada and Dan Benishek of Michigan will be getting praise while Democratic Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona and Nick Rahall of West Virginia will be getting criticism.

Both Kirkpatrick and Rahall face challenging reelection bids in next year's midterms.

"Amid a disastrous and inept rollout, it's important to remember that some politicians did what they could to stop ObamaCare, while others did whatever it took to shove the law down our throats," AFP President Tim Phillips said in a statement.

"Heading into 2014, we want to be sure Americans understand the true negative impact of the law. A failing website is just the tip of the iceberg; less choice, higher premiums, and lost coverage will be the legacy of ObamaCare."

AFP is partially funded by the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers, who have spent many millions of dollars to back conservative causes and candidates.

The Republican ads focus on Heck and Benishek's longstanding opposition to the health care law and ask voters to call and urge them to keep fighting.

"Dan Benishek understands. He's fought against Obamacare from the very start," says the announcer in the ad supporting the Michigan Republican.

"He knows healthcare reform needs to be reformed. But Joe Heck knew Obamacare was a bad deal from the start," says the announcer for the second-term Representative's ad.

The ads targeting the two Democrats take ominous tones about the individuals forced from their health plans and blast the so-called "exemption" granted members of Congress in the form of an insurance subsidy.

"It is not perfect. It was a step," Kirkpatrick says in an excerpted interview used for her attack ad. The step was one in the wrong direction, the ad admonishes.

Rahall in turn is quoted saying Obamacare "was the best we can do," which the ad says is not enough.

Obamacare has long been conservatives' favorite punching bag, a bag grown ever more tattered with the disastrous rollout of the HealthCare.gov online exchanges. The Obama administration has vowed the website will be fixed by the end of November.


Filed under: Ann Kirkpatrick • Health care • Nick Rahall • Obamacare
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. the hippies were right

    @Hector Slagg, my 26 year old son who is a liberal and a college student just signed up for coverage thru the exchange. Next May he will be my forth kid to graduate with a degree. If it weren't for gov't loans none of them would have been able to go to college. I have another liberal son who just promoted yesterday to Captain in the USAF. You have a warped view of what a liberal is. Maybe it's time you pull your head out!

    November 7, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  2. Denise

    Their leader, Rush, never set foot in an institution of higher learning so they can't possibly relate!

    November 7, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  3. A True Conservative

    @Gurgyl – then what do you give a hoot about? It's not dead Americans and an incompetent government that could have protected them then lied about the real cause. It's not the IRS targeting citizens who hapen to have a different political perspective than the current administratio – and then lied about it. You don't give a hoot about an incompetent government that rammed a massive new program down the throats of Americans (with NO support from the opposition) and then proved that they couldn't even put together a working website to allow folks to sign up for the mandatory program. Even worse, it is now coming out that there are security flaws in it which allow people to access other citizens personal information. But what do you expect from a group managed by a former community organizer who seems to only give government money and contracts to his fiends and supporters. So Gurgyl – tel us – what do you give a hoot about? Where is your head right now that causes you to be so blind to what is going on around you?

    November 7, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  4. cumulus

    Hectors head securely up his, that's for certain, they demonise, all the while committing atrocious acts of hatred, deny hungry children food because some rich guy told you to, honest men quite when forced to choose between ethics and money?

    November 7, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  5. cumulus

    How's the air up there Hector?

    November 7, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  6. Silence DoGood

    @the hippies were right
    @Hector Slagg

    Good for you "hippies". I think more liberals should stand up and be counted, and not as "peasants" according to Hector. I am hard working, love my family, believe in God, and am liberal!

    November 7, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  7. cumulus

    Tom, you must realize that repeating the gop talking points kills credibility. The IRS scandal could have ended with issa asking the guy if liberal groups were given the same order if extra scrutiny, case closed, but HD didn't, because its 100% political, and CBS, is in hot water over the 60 minutes article on benghazi, the guy flat out lied, and CBS is standing by him, they didn't tell you they published his book, mistake I'm sure, and no conflict of interest either huh?

    November 7, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  8. rs

    Hector Slagg

    It is totally amazing to me that the Liberal's and Democrats rip the Conservatives and Republican's to shreds on one side of the coin and then want the Republican's and Conservatives to pay huge amounts taxes to fund all the peasants. . It is no wonder the Conservatives park most of their money off shore where the peasants can't steal it. Why some of you think young people will sign up for Obama Care and every thing will be fine. Anyone that believes that I have a Bridge in Brooklyn I want to sell them. The National Debt is more than 17 Trillion now because the Liberal's blew it all. Better wise up.
    ________________________
    The Debt is where it is because of the Right's "Cut Taxes and Spend" (i.e. "starve the beast") mentality. The Right would like to rule only for the 1%- screw the rest. I think for most (rational) Americans, there is a nodding acknowledgement that things like education, nutrition, healthcare, helps society as a whole- including the rich. I'll remind you that under Eisenhower (when America could afford vast infrastructure improvments and the nascent space program) that the tax rate for the highest income earners was about 2-3 times what it is today (87-90%).

    November 7, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  9. Denise

    The irony of billionaires like Koch brothers supposedly protecting their interests when it comes to their ideology concerning health care, soial issues, economy and taxation is a myth! Have you ever checked out the makeup of tea party crowds or neo con town hall meetings? I'd bet their average tax rate is alot lower than Mitt's and I highly doubt many of them have post high school education. Let's hope their current healthcare plan has good dental coverage and behavior modification therapy. They're all missing a few teeth and hmmmm, let's just say they've been back to the buffet a few times.

    November 7, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  10. RomneyWho

    Children at play! :(

    November 7, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  11. rs

    Larry in Houston

    """the website can now process 17,000 applications per hour"""

    LOL – only 17K ???? LOL

    let me give you a little bit of knowledge on the population in the U.S.
    how about 315 MILLION in population......
    that ACA thing (website) needs to be at least, at the very Minimum, "accepting" a whole lot more than only 17 thousand per hour....how about 17K per minute ??? or every 30 seconds ???
    _____________
    Basic math Larry- 80% of that 315 million already have healthcare coverage, so the number who need to shop and apply is a much smaller fraction of that number. As that number is further reduces when family coverage is factored in the number goes down even more.

    November 7, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  12. Data Driven

    @Fair,

    "Heh heh heh... yeah. LOVE IT. And when it doesn't get delayed (and it won't), the GOP has custom made ads just sitting there for them. Yes, indded – "In 2009, Politician X voted for Obamacare. In 2013, Politican X begged Obama to hamstring it. Which Politician X do you think you're voting for in 2014?". Priceless."

    An excellent scenario for conservatives that is entirely predicated on the Marketplace completely failing. It's way too early to make that judgment, Fair. The website rollout is already starting to fade as the website improves. The question will be if the 3% of Americans who lost their junk plans will have replaced them with better ones through the Marketplace. Of course, that cause isn't helped by scaredy-cat Dem Senators. If the mandate is delayed, the conservatives win - I agree with you that Obama won't support that capitulation.

    You just better hope that we're still talking about this every day next July. If we are, your prophecy comes true.

    November 7, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  13. jboh

    The TEA/GOP temper tantrums continue. GROW UP !

    November 7, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Just wait until the counter ads start running. The ones that will say that your Governor does not participate in Medicare expansion, and he supports Politician "T", who voted to deny you access to quality, affordable medical coverage in the Congress.

    November 7, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  15. just saying

    obama and the dmeocrats shut down the federal government for weeks because they would not delay this rollout disaster and now obama is meeting with senate democrats in unscheduled and private meetings trying to figure out how they can delay it.

    isn't it great to know that our country and healthcare is being held hostage by the far left democrats and their endless and relentless effort to further jam this healthcare fiasco down our throats. they don't care how much damage they do to american citizens. we are all just collateral damage in their war on our healthcare system and fredom of choice.

    November 7, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  16. TONE

    I see your ads Gop, but isn't it time you come up with an alternative to the ACA if you think it is that bad. The people who support the Gop isn't time to ask your respective congressman, and senators what is their alternative? instead of the ignant comments you post here.

    November 7, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  17. Fair is Fair

    @ Data Driven

    "An excellent scenario for conservatives that is entirely predicated on the Marketplace completely failing. It's way too early to make that judgment, Fair. The website rollout is already starting to fade as the website improves. The question will be if the 3% of Americans who lost their junk plans will have replaced them with better ones through the Marketplace. Of course, that cause isn't helped by scaredy-cat Dem Senators. If the mandate is delayed, the conservatives win – I agree with you that Obama won't support that capitulation.

    You just better hope that we're still talking about this every day next July. If we are, your prophecy comes true.'
    -------
    Oh, but Obamacare is SO MUCH MORE that just a website (as we've been accustomed to the apologists telling us". And they're right!!! The website is just the portal – the proverbial front door – to the bag of unpleasantries awaiting the unfortunates.

    Want some more prophecy? The employer mandate kicks in next year. A month or two before election day next year, the number of hard-working Americans getting the dreaded cancellation notice in the mail is going to make what happened in the individual insurance market look microscopic by comparison. Watch.

    November 7, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  18. Denise

    Dittohead math!

    November 7, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  19. Denise

    We need to up it from 17k to 170k per hour to account for all of the dittoheads checking it out!

    November 7, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  20. S. B. Stein

    I don't mind the bashing, but I haven't heard any alternative to get more people access to medical insurance so they don't have to rely on the ER and find huge bills later on. Where is the difference from what has been done and what the GOP/conservatives/teapublican would do? If there is a better alternative, then present it.

    November 7, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  21. Anthony in California

    @A True Conservative

    So what I got from your rant was that 4 people died (but you left out how many died under Bush under the same circumstances),
    the President, Congress, and the Supreme Court upheld a law making health care affordable to the whole of the nation (but you'd prefer insurance companies ripping us off?), IRS targeted BOTH sides as it is their JOB to do so, NO website roll out ever goes without glitches, and lets not start on Gov contracts to friends (or themselves, Haliburton). I'll take someone who knows how to "organize a community" over a "divider/decider" any day. But unless Republicans present a viable candidate, they'll go the way of the Dinosaurs.

    Alright. time for me to start my work day and let you professional internet comment board posters have at it.

    November 7, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  22. tom l

    @Data
    "The website rollout is already starting to fade as the website improves. The question will be if the 3% of Americans who lost their junk plans will have replaced them with better ones through the Marketplace"

    I'm not sure why you, who doesn't appear to be judgemental, would make a comment like that. You are just parroting such a silly line (and I know your aversion to talking points :)). First off, you know it's not only 3% that are negatively affected by this law. You know it's a much higher number and even if it was only 3%, that's 15,000,000 Americans that you basically are saying you don't give a rip about and also make the notion that you know what's better for them. It's an incredibly arrogant position to take and while I only "know" you through these threads, that's not an adjective I would have ever used to describe you.

    It's not right to call them "junk" plans when you have no idea what is in those individual plans for individual people based on their individual needs – maybe some of them are bad plans but I don't profess to know that because I don't know their situation. You can say that they now will get more coverage but what if they don't want that? Remember, 80-85% of people were happy with the quality of their healthcare. That's a real statistic. I'm interested to hear your response.

    November 7, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
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