As the 2014 campaign season for the midterm elections approaches, conservative activists are targeting vulnerable Democrats over their support for ObamaCare signaling that the president’s signature health care law will play a key role in yet another election cycle. Many believe their efforts will be far more productive this time as ObamaCare goes live and it is now going to actively face-to-face with people with all its issues directly affecting Americans and as it’s many higher costs and other problems become more evident.
Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political advocacy group that focuses on economic policy, is spending $600,000 on TV spots targeting Representatives Rick Nolan D-Minn and Ann McLane Kuster D-N.H. as part of a broader $16 million ad campaign. The ad against Nolan focuses on health plans canceled as a result of ObamaCare and features Randy Westby, a Minnesota resident who criticized Nolan for supporting the law.
“I received notice that my current insurance was no longer qualified. I’ve had three heart attacks in the last six years. Healthcare is something that’s essential. My life depends on it,” Westby says in the ad. “Congressman Nolan, ObamaCare needs to be repealed. It was a big lie.”
President Obama had long promised that people who liked their policies could keep them but many consumers received notification from their insurers in October and November that their individual policies would be canceled because they didn’t cover benefits required by law. The Obama administration announced November 14 that companies could continue existing policies for one year that don’t meet the minimum requirements ‘IF’ state regulators approved.
The National Republican Congressional Committee released a similar radio ad earlier this month targeting Representative Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H., who voted against a measure to repeal the law in May which features a woman describing her husband’s health problems. “Because of ObamaCare, our health plan no longer exists, and our new policy doesn’t cover the hospital where my husband was being treated,” the woman says. “Different hospitals, different doctors, during all this. I’m scared for him, and for the kids.”
And the list goes on; although I’m not going to site each ad here. In a number of Senate primary campaigns, Republicans are arguing among themselves over the best way to oppose the law. The outcome of those campaigns could influence which party controls the Senate.
Leaders of national conservative groups which have been key players in recent Senate elections say the distinction is an important consideration as they decide who they may be endorsing. The recent record of groups like Freedom Works and the Senate Conservatives Fund is mixed. Democrats are hoping for a repeat of 2010 and 2012 races where the far right groups backed less-viable candidates who lost general elections in Colorado, Nevada, Delaware and Indiana. But the same groups also helped elect Lee, Cruz and Marco Rubio in the presidential swing state of Florida. At Freedom Works, PAC treasurer and policy chief Dean Clancy dismissed any notion that wading into intra-party skirmishes would hurt the GOP. “Republicans make a mistake when they try to waffle on these issues,” he said.
It’s definitely going to be an interesting year or two as Americans decide exactly how much they like their new ‘change’! And ObamaCare is most likely going to be the number one target along with issues such as the NSA, IRS, Syria, Iran and Benghazi still lingering on the sidelines.