Democrats Target AHCA Republicans With New Attack Ads

by Joseph D. Lyons
Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Democrats have been on the attack with health care since the GOP's first version of the American Health Care Act came out, and their rhetoric hasn't eased up since. Take Sen. Elizabeth Warren's views on the matter. “A bill that destroys health care for millions to shovel cash to the rich isn’t a health care bill," she wrote on Twitter. Warren went on to write the AHCA "will devastate Americans’ healthcare. Families will go bankrupt. People will die." Now that kind of messaging is headed to television and web videos too. Democrats are targeting Republicans who voted for the AHCA with new ads.

The Washington Post reported that Democratic groups have started placing ads in districts that could be won in the 2018 midterm elections. One such group is the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the party committee in charge of electing Dems to the House. The DCCC sees this moment, despite being early in the campaign season, as the perfect time to share this message. DCCC spokesman Tyler Law explained why in a statement:

The passage of this repeal and ripoff bill was a defining moment for every single House Republican. Our early investments reflect the huge opportunity for Democrats to maximize gains on an expanding midterm battlefield.

The ad is a 15-second web spot that will be played in 10 districts that the Dems hope to flip. Featured is Fox News host Chris Wallace telling Paul Ryan, "Your plan makes it unaffordable," while graphics read "premiums up 20 percent." It also focuses on pre-existing conditions and the American Medical Association's findings that it will be "completely unaffordable." Another Fox News host then says the new bill will be "more expensive for people ages 50 to 64." Not what you want connected to your vote. It then ends, "House Republicans voted yes."

Another 30-second ad by SaveMyCare, an independent pro-Democratic group, will be played in another 24 districts where voters are currently represented by a Republican representative, but Hillary Clinton won the district's presidential vote. They're individualized for the local representatives and explain that the representative voted to "cut coverage" for 24 million and "raise costs" by 20 percent. It ends asking, "How could you do this to us?"

These videos, combined with other spots including rush hour radio ads in Southern California, could make a real impact in some swing district races. According to a report by The Los Angeles Times, it is rather dramatic too. "That’s the sound of the congressional Republicans' health care plan coming down the tracks,” the radio ad says. “Get out of the way.”

According to the Cook Political Report, many Republican House districts did move into competitive territory after the AHCA vote, so these ads — and future campaigning based around the "yes" vote — could have a real impact in 2018. For your future health care coverage, that could be vitally important.