GOP Ad Defends Rep. David Joyce on Health Care Protections

Ad doubles down on strategy to run Republican as health care centrist

Rep. David Joyce, R-Ohio, who has voted with his party multiple times to repeal the 2010 health care law, is depicted as a centrist on the issue in an ad released Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A group supporting Rep. David Joyce is releasing an ad Tuesday touting the Ohio Republican’s commitment to “protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions.”

The $125,000 ad buy from Defending Main Street, the political arm of the Republican Main Street Partnership, doubles down on Joyce’s campaign strategy of painting the candidate as an independent voice who has bucked his party on health care and who has “stood up to President Trump.” 

Those claims have met with criticism from Betsy Rader, the Democratic nominee in Ohio’s 14th District. And while Joyce voted against the GOP bill last year to repeal much of the 2010 health care law, media reports have noted he voted with his party on 31 earlier attempts to repeal the law.

The ad, scheduled to run until Oct. 23, features footage of Joyce with his wife, identified as a registered nurse, and his three grown children in outdoor settings. 

“Protecting our families begins with protecting our health care,” the narrator says. 

The spot then segues into criticism of Rader, a civil rights lawyer. It accuses her of supporting “government-run health care” and says her plan would “double your federal taxes” — a claim disputed by media outlets. Rader has served as senior counsel at the Cleveland Clinic and worked at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Joyce had a 93 percent party unity score in 2016, according to a CQ analysis that evaluates how often lawmakers vote with their own party when a majority of Democrats split from a majority of Republicans.

The 14th District is one of a handful of Ohio seats that Democrats are targeting this year. Trump carried the district by 12 points in 2016, while Joyce was winning a third term by 25 points. 

A mixture of suburban and blue-collar towns bordering Lake Erie, the district was for years represented by centrist GOP Rep. Steven C. LaTourette.

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Likely Republican.

ICYMI: Health Care and the 2018 Midterms — Pre-Existing Conditions

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