“Republicans are keeping their promise with a new plan for better health care, more choices and lower costs,” said a voice on the ad, which was purchased by conservative nonprofit advocacy group the American Action Network.
As the Wizards played the Nets Friday night, an ad praised Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) for keeping her promise and replacing the Affordable Care Act, Deadspin reported. Commercials thanking Reps. David Young (R-Iowa) and David Valadao (R-Calif.) ran on CBS stations before NCAA basketball coverage. A CBS affiliate in San Antonio played an ad for Rep. Will Hurd (R-Tex.).
In San Diego, an ad ran asking constituents to thank Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) “for keeping his promise and replacing the Affordable Care Act with a better health care you deserve.”
At least two of the lawmakers thanked in the ads actually opposed the Republican health-care bill, they said Friday. Comstock said she liked parts of the bill but could not support the final version, in part, because on the eve of the scheduled vote, Republicans stripped requirements for maternity care, mental health services and other basic benefits.
Hurd also expressed his dissatisfaction with the bill, known as the American Health Care Act, saying in a statement that although he respected the efforts of Ryan and House Republicans, the bill in its current form “created new challenges.”
“I am hopeful that we can go back to the drawing board and fix our broken health care system,” Hurd said.
Those who saw the television ads were confused to say the least.
“A little bit of an oops there,” an NBC affiliate broadcast anchor in San Diego said.
Viewers sounded off on social media:
“I saw this and I thought I was imagining things,” one person tweeted after watching one of the ads.
“Awkward,” tweeted another.
Earlier Friday, after days of unrest among Republicans over the party’s bill to replace the Affordable Care Act, Trump called The Washington Post to break the news that the bill was dead.
“So, we just pulled it,” he told reporter Robert Costa. Trump said the promised bill had essentially failed, after House Republicans lacked the support within their party — and among Democrats — to pass it.
The president also said he would not ask Republican leaders to reintroduce the legislation in the coming weeks. Congressional leaders made clear that the bill — known as the American Health Care Act — was dead.
The American Action Network said the ads had been on air for two weeks as part of an ongoing effort to urge lawmakers to repeal and replace Obamacare, the group said in a statement to Deadspin, a sports and culture website. Eleven of these ads were also uploaded to YouTube, where they remained Sunday night.
“While there’s more work to be done, conservatives in and out of Congress continue to believe Obamacare has failed and will continue to fight for patient-centered reforms,” the American Action Network wrote in its statement. “Therefore, the claims in the ad remain true in spite of yesterday’s events.”
The American Action Network previously said it was also making a six-figure investment in radio commercials running mostly in districts represented by members of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of about three dozen hard-right conservatives who have been reluctant to support Ryan’s bill. The ads made the case that the GOP bill was a true conservative alternative to the ACA, not a watered-down version of it.