Politics

TV Ads Tell Conservatives to Vote With Trump on Health Care

American Action Network targets Freedom Caucus members in their districts

From left, Republican Reps. Dave Brat of Virginia, Mo Brooks of Alabama, and Mark Meadows of North Carolina are among the targets of the new GOP ad campaign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Republican issue advocacy group with close ties to House leadership is running half a million dollars in TV ads to pressure Freedom Caucus members to vote with President Donald Trump on the Republicans’ health care plan. 

American Action Network is running spots in 30 districts on Fox News beginning Thursday for two weeks. It’s the first time an outside group is invoking the president’s support for the health care plan in its paid advertising for the bill. 

Each ad starts the same way, contrasting the 2010 health care law and the new GOP proposal for repeal and replacement.  

“Obamacare is full of job-destroying mandates. The new plan eliminates them,” the narrator says. “Obamacare put bureaucrats in control. The Republicans’ plan puts patients and doctors in charge. Obamacare stuck families with soaring premiums. The new plan provides more choices and lower costs.”

The ads then cut to footage of Trump saying, “Repeal and replace Obamacare,” before customized endings tell individual lawmakers to “vote with President Trump.”

“It’s time for conservatives to unite behind President Trump and Speaker Ryan to pass the American Health Care Act,” the group’s executive director Corry Bliss said in a statement. 

“This bill gives conservatives the opportunity to deliver on their promise to repeal and replace the disaster that is Obamacare,” he said. 

The ads target House conservatives who are either in the Freedom Caucus or the Liberty Caucus. Some of these members have been critical of leadership’s bill, while others, like Texas Rep. Michael C. Burgess, chairman of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, have been more involved in drafting it. 

Targets include Alabama Reps. Mo Brooks and Gary Palmer, Arizona Reps. Paul Gosar, David Schweikert and Trent Franks, Colorado Rep. Ken Buck, Florida Reps. Ted Yoho, Ron DeSantis and Bill Posey, Georgia Rep. Jody Hice, Idaho Rep. Raúl R. Labrador, Maryland Rep. Andy Harris, Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, New Mexico Rep. Steve Pearce, Ohio Reps. Jim Jordan and Warren Davidson, Oklahoma Rep. Jim Bridenstine, Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry, South Carolina Reps. Mark Sanford and Jeff Duncan, Tennessee Rep. Scott DesJarlais, Texas Reps. Louie Gohmert, Ted Poe, Randy WeberBrian Babin and Burgess, Virginia Reps. Dave Brat and Morgan Griffith and West Virginia Rep. Alex Mooney

American Action Network has now spent $8.5 million on advertising campaigns for a GOP health care plan. 

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