Moderate House Republicans who flirted with supporting the GOP’s now-stalled Obamacare replacement will face attack ads in their districts this week for doing so.
Save My Care, a coalition of left-leaning health care advocacy groups fighting to preserve Obamacare, is launching a seven-figure TV ad buy in seven competitive House districts across the country.
It’s one of the first attempts by the left to weaponize the GOP’s failed attempt to repeal Obamacare, and it comes as Republicans arrive at home for a two-week recess after trying and failing repeatedly to coalesce behind a health care plan.
"Congressman [Darrell] Issa promised to protect our health care, but when right-wing politicians tried to pass a disastrous health care repeal bill that raises cost and cuts coverage, Issa wouldn’t oppose them," a male narrator intones as ominous music plays, in one version of the 30-second spot.
The ads target five Republican lawmakers from districts won by Hillary Clinton, including Issa, whose Orange County district Clinton carried by eight points. Other Republicans in Clinton-won districts include Arizona’s Martha McSally, Colorado’s Mike Coffman and Florida’s Carlos Curbelo and California’s David Valadao.
Two lawmakers from districts carried won by President Donald Trump — Florida’s Brian Mast and New Jersey’s Tom MacArthur — will face similar ads.
Each of the seven members either backed or declined to formally reject the Republican Obamacare replacement, known as the American Health Care Act. Though the lawmakers may not have explicitly endorsed the bill — House leaders opted to cancel a vote on it because it lacked enough support to pass — the ad emphasizes that these seven Republicans "wouldn’t oppose" the measure.
Lawmakers are bracing for another round of bruising health care-focused town halls like those that made headlines in February, before GOP leaders released their ill-fated health care legislation.
Pressure on moderate members is also coming from the right. Conservative groups like Heritage Action have signaled they intend to have a presence in some moderate members’ districts during the recess to highlight their rejection of measures to more fully wipe Obamacare’s core components from the books.