KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

RNC Launches ‘Obamacare’ Attack Ads

The advertisements, which will run in 12 states this week, target Democratic senators and representatives who supported the health law by attempting to link them to President Barack Obama's failed promise that people who like their coverage could keep it. The administration, meanwhile, will run ads during the Winter Olympics, urging people to sign up for coverage.

CNN: RNC Targets Democrats Over Obama Insurance Pledge
There's no let-up in the new year in the GOP push to attack Democrats over Obamacare during the midterm elections. Case in point: New radio ads announced Tuesday morning by the Republican National Committee that attack 12 Democratic senators and representatives, many of whom are in competitive races this November. The ads focus on President Barack Obama's broken pledge that people who liked their health insurance plans could keep them under the Affordable Care Act (Steinhauser, 1/7).

McClatchy: Republicans Launch 'Obamacare' Ads
The Republican National Committee is launching ads in a dozen states this week, mostly incumbents who supported President Barack Obama's health care law. The radio ads, which will run Tuesday and Wednesday, will attempt to tie Democrats across the country to Obama's failed promise that Americans could keep their existing insurance plans. "Obamacare is going to be the issue in 2014," RNC chairman Reince Priebus told reporters (1/7).

CBS News: GOP Leader: Impossible To Take Focus Off Obamacare In 2014
Democrats intend on putting a special emphasis on income inequality issues this year, with efforts to raise the minimum raise and help the unemployed, but the Republican Party is betting that voters in November will still make their concerns about Obamacare their priority. “When you’re talking about something that takes up a sixth of the United States economy and that has been dramatically misrepresented to the American people and that's affecting everybody... it’s impossible for this not to be the number one issue,” Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus told reporters Tuesday. The RNC on Tuesday is launching radio ads targeting 12 red state or potentially vulnerable congressional Democrats for repeating the now-infamous Obamacare pledge, "if you like your health care, you can keep it" (Condon, 1/7).

Politico: Obamacare Ads To Hit The Olympic Slopes
The Obama administration is planning an Olympic-size ad blitz to push health coverage during the winter games next month. HHS confirmed Tuesday that it has bought advertising time in markets with high rates of uninsured people to air during the Winter Olympics, which run Feb. 7-23 (Cheney and Hohmann, 1/7).

The Washington Post examines how attack ads seek to render the law itself unsuccessful --

The Washington Post's The Fix: The Hidden Effect Of Anti-Obamacare Ads
But, there's another potential impact -- beyond the political one -- of these early ads, according to Elizabeth Wilner, senior VP at Kantar Media Ad Intelligence. "This isn’t just about using the issue to defeat Democrats, though that’s emerging as the primary goal for 2014; it’s also about rendering the law unsuccessful," explained Wilner. "It’s a quirk of geography, and of political demography that has been decades in the making, that vulnerable Democratic incumbents represent a lot of areas where there are a lot of Americans who need health coverage." In other words, the most vulnerable Democratic senators up for reelection in 2014 represent a remarkably large number of people who are uninsured. That means that ad spending on anti-Obamacare messaging in those states is -- and will continue to be -- higher than the national average despite the fact that, in theory, more people in those states might benefit from the law (Cillizza, 1/7).

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