Watch: Both sides of Obamacare debate launch ad campaigns
(CNN) — Dueling ads over Obamacare will hit the airwaves this week, as a conservative group raises questions about the rollout of the president’s sweeping health care reform, while a group on the other end of the political spectrum unveils a new TV spot seeking to defend the comprehensive program.
The conservative group Americans for Prosperity is the latest organization to launch a major ad campaign attacking Obamacare, a spokesman has confirmed to CNN. The ad buy is expected to eventually total $1 million and run nationally, with an initial rollout of $700,000 worth of television and online ads that will air in Virginia and Ohio beginning Tuesday.
The 30-second ad titled “Questions” begins with Julie, a mother of two, who says, “Two years ago, my son Caleb began having seizures. The medical care he received meant the world to me. Now, I’m paying more attention and I have some questions about Obamacare.”
“If we can’t pick our own doctor, how do I know my family is going to get the care they need? And what am I getting in exchange for higher premiums and a smaller paycheck? Can I really trust the folks in Washington with my family’s health care? I think we all deserve some answers,” she says in the spot.
“The American people have serious questions and concerns about the negative impact of ObamaCare,” AFP President Tim Phillips said in a statement. “They’re waking up to higher premiums and fewer choices, but are being told by groups like Organizing for Action that everything is just fine. We feel it’s important to provide education on the true consequences of government intrusion into the private healthcare decisions of families, and provide a counter to disinformation that’s out there.”
As part of this initiative, the group is also planning events hosted by state chapters around the country criticizing Obamacare, known officially as the Affordable Care Act.
Organizing for Action, the grass-roots group pushing some of the president’s priorities and being run by some of his former campaign officials, is mounting its own efforts at building public support for Obamacare and encouraging people to sign up for insurance.
Releasing its second ad as part of a summer series this week, OFA is focusing on the elimination of lifetime caps for health care coverage. The spot features a girl, Zoe Lihn, who had open heart surgery hours after being born.
“Before Obamacare, insurance companies could put lifetime caps on your health insurance,” the girl’s mother, Stacey Lihn, says in the 30-second commercial. “Zoe was halfway to her cap before her first birthday.”
The ad begins running Tuesday on national cable news, as well as Bravo and Lifetime, according to an OFA official. It’s part of OFA’s mission to educate the public on the benefits of Obamacare and “push back on the misleading rhetoric from opponents,” according to a statement released Monday with the new ad.
Both groups are going after the support of women–a key constituency in the health care debate. They’re considered crucial because the Obama administration wants to try to make sure unenrolled single women sign up for health insurance, and in married relationships, women are often the decision makers in the family.
The ad buys comes after Tuesday’s announcement by the Treasury Department that a key provision in President Barack Obama’s health care law will be delayed by one year. The delay relates to the requirement that businesses provide their workers with health insurance or face fines, and follows concerns from small businesses about the complexity of the law’s reporting requirements.