If you've watched any TV recently, you've probably seen a conservative group's million-dollar ad buy that started this week, aimed at stirring up anger over Obamacare…
The same actress saying this line appeared in nearly identical ads last fall, targeting several other members of Congress.
Rittiman shows viewers, as the Denver Post's Lynn Bartels first reported this week, how the ad is a near-duplicate of AFP ads running in other states. This has the effect of rendering the actress' statement that "people don't like political ads, and I don't either" into more of a punchline. Rittiman then debunks in detail the claims made in this ad–claims that in turn underpin much of the GOP's message against the Affordable Care Act. For example, there is the claim that "millions of people have lost their health insurance."
It's true that millions of people with individual coverage got cancellation notices because their old plans didn't meet the standards of Obamacare…but getting one of these notices is not the same thing as losing insurance. [Pols emphasis]
By federal law, when they cancel a plan, insurance companies have to offer you an alternate plan if they want to stay in business…this ad is trying to make you believe that all those people just became uninsured, which is just not the case. [Pols emphasis]
It's a point we've made over and over in this space, and we're happy to see it being called out by the media as deceptive. In fact, over 90% of policyholders who received "cancellation notices" in Colorado also got notice that they could renew their policies. Many others have signed up via the insurance exchange. It's just not true that these hundreds of thousands of people were left without insurance by the Affordable Care Act. And then there's the vague but alarming charge from AFP's actress, "millions are paying more and getting less."
As a case against the healthcare law, this is misleading for a few reasons.
First of all, people are by and large getting more in their plans, not less… [Pols emphasis]
With an emotional case against "Obamacare" playing a central role in Republican message strategy this year, including in the high-profile U.S. Senate race here in Colorado, debunking these frequently-heard claims is a major win for Democrats. If Democrats are smart–and not just in Colorado–Brandon Rittiman's fact check of AFP's cookie-cutter ad, or at least the bits that matter, will be seen by lots of voters.