Anti-Obamacare Ads Not Telling The Truth
Americans for Prosperity, a Tea Party group heavily funded by the Koch Brothers, put out a pair of ads attacking Obamacare that play fast and loose with the facts.
[They] took out two ads against vulnerable Democrats: Rick Nolan of Minnesota’s 8th District and Ann Kuster of New Hampshire’s 2nd District. Both focus on the health-care law, and they are important to dissect because they are the first trickles of what is sure to be a torrent of anti-ACA advertising.
The ad against Nolan features a middle-aged Minnesota resident named Randy Westby, who says he lost his health care plan because it no longer qualified for purchase in the exchanges. “I’ve had three heart attacks in the last six years. Health care is something that’s essential, and my life depends on it,” he continues…
But was Westby able to find another plan? Four million to five million people probably had their plan canceled because of updated coverage requirements, but the administration believes fewer than 500,000 of those people are still looking for another plan. The ad doesn’t tell us if Westby is one of those people.
Nor does it note that he can’t be disqualified from any of the plans on the exchanges because of his preexisting condition — and three heart attacks in six years is one heck of a preexisting condition. Are the plans available to him cheaper than what he had before? How much better is the coverage? We don’t know, although given Westby’s medical history and apparent age, it seems he is exactly the type of person most likely to benefit from how the new individual market is structured.
The New Hampshire ad is more general and features an actress, but it relies on the same central and shaky claim that “millions of people” are losing coverage.
And those “millions of people,” even if true, represent 3-5% of the private market, and people who Republicans never gave thought to–until now.