The push to repeal and replace President Obama’s health-care law is coming to televisions nationwide starting Thursday night because of a push by a nonprofit group with close ties to House Republican leaders.
The American Action Network, a 501(c)(4) group affiliated with the Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC and run by key GOP establishment figures, is spending more than $1 million on ads promoting House leaders’ plans on health care.
The first ad is set to run nationally Thursday night on CNN, during an hour-long town hall special the network is hosting with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.). The ad will run through the rest of the month in targeted markets: the districts of 15 House members close to House leadership.
The ad is light on detail on how Republicans will replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and what they plan to replace it with. But it offers an upbeat take on what GOP leaders are planning for health care under the Trump administration to contrast with Democratic warnings of potential chaos ahead.
“Imagine a new path forward,” a narrator says over images of happy families and smiling doctors, not to mention Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). “Health insurance that provides more choices and better care at lower costs, a system that puts patients and doctors in charge, that provides peace of mind to people with preexisting conditions, and paves the way for new cures by eliminating senseless regulations.”
“House Republicans have a plan to get there,” the narrator says, “without disrupting existing coverage, giving your family the health care it deserves.”
Corry Bliss, AAN’s executive director said in a statement that replacing the Affordable Care Act is “the biggest congressional policy challenge of our day” and criticized Democratic attempts to undermine GOP plans.
“Americans should know that Speaker Ryan and House Republicans have a plan to replace Obamacare with quality, affordable health care,” Bliss said. “For all the noise over Obamacare repeal, this much is clear: Americans support the House Republican plan and believe in a fair transition period to get there. The American people are rejecting the ‘Make America Sick Again’ publicity stunt and are ready to see Congress make patient-centered health care a reality.”
The pledge to repeal and replace Obamacare “without disrupting existing coverage” is notable. Many health-care experts are warning that the current GOP strategy — swiftly repealing key parts of Obamacare then replacing it at a later date — could cause chaos in insurance markets. And most Republican leaders have shied away from explicitly promising to cover all of the roughly 20 million Americans now covered under Obamacare’s various programs for individuals.
The ad will run regionally in the districts of GOP Reps. Don Bacon (Neb.), Rod Blum (Iowa), Mike Coffman (Colo.), Barbara Comstock (Va.), Carlos Curbelo (Fla.), Jeff Denham (Calif.), Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.), Bob Goodlatte (Va.), Will Hurd (Texas), Darrell Issa (Calif.), Steve Stivers (Ohio), Mac Thornberry (Texas), Patrick J. Tiberi (Ohio), David Valadao (Calif.) and Greg Walden (Ore.).