Exclusive: Massive Targeted Obamacare Ad Buy May Hurt Vulnerable Democrats
Obamacare is set to become the fully implemented law of the land in October unless something stops it. We will all find out the hard way just how this law, which has never enjoyed majority support, will impact our health insurance and the medical industry as a whole. So far, it's proving effective at halting hiring and forcing employers to cut worker hours. Doctors have accelerated retirement. Large insurance carriers like Aetna have announced their intention to stay out of the Obamacare state insurance exchanges. Citizens in many states will see major increases in their health insurance premiums. It's also proving so popular that even President Obama's Big Labor allies want out of it. Big business has sought and won a delay in the corporate mandate. Congress has already exempted itself, with the president's blessing. Yet the individual mandate that gives Americans a choice between buying a product or paying money to the government grinds into place on schedule. So, really, what's not to love?
The Obama administration is beginning to roll out a huge advertising campaign to promote the law. Let's hope that all the ads don't take the fact-free hippie dippy vibe that Oregon took. That's the stuff of nightmares.
According to a Republican media firm, the administration's $12 million ad buy -- that's enough cash to buy a few Super Bowl ads -- lands in some interesting places. Take a look at the screenshot below (here is the full spreadsheet).
Let's start at the top of the alphabet with Arizona. According to the spreadsheet, about $1.17 million Obamacare ad dollars will be spent in the Grand Canyon State. Three of the most vulnerable Democrats in the coming 2014 cycle happen to be Arizona representatives: Ron Barber (AZ-02), Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01) and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09). They are all freshmen. Obamacare remains unpopular. Do these three Arizona Democrats welcome tax dollars being spent in their media markets promoting a policy that their constituents tend not to support?
Moving on from there, Florida will see $2.9 million spent to promote Obamacare. Again, two vulnerable House Democrats may be impacted: Reps. Joe Garcia (FL-26) and Patrick Murphy (Fl-18). What do they think of taxpayer dollars being spent to promote an ailing, unpopular policy when they're hoping to get their own re-election messages out?
There is a larger question about all this that deserves attention: Should the government headed by a president who incessantly whines about sequestration -- which was his own White House's policy -- and who constantly deceives regarding the scale of the national deficit and his role in it, spend money that we do not have to promote a policy that a majority of Americans do not support?
This ad buy may grow, by the way, as government programs tend to do. Politico reported on September 5 that the administration awarded a $41 million contract to the PR firm Weber Shandwick for Obamacare promotion. Again, this is money that we don't have, to promote a law that most Americans don't want. Perhaps those vulnerable Democrats will sense what these ads could do to their re-election hopes, and lead the way in questioning the wisdom of all this.