A new TV ad tells a tale of woe about Obamacare using a local woman's story.
Trouble is, the story doesn't really hold water the way the ad presents it.
FRIDAY UPDATE: MSNBC's Steve Benen:
The ad from Karl Rove’s attack operation is online here, but the key takeaway is the degree to which this is familiar – the story of the ACA “victim” that just doesn’t stand up well to scrutiny.
For example, the Crossroads ad suggests to Colorado viewers that McKim “had to go back to work” because of health care, but she told a local news outlet, “It wasn’t the Affordable Care Act. It was just a financial burden, having a single income for so long.”
…Colorado, it’s worth noting, has seen a sharp drop in its uninsured rate thanks to “Obamacare.” It would suggest that in reality, health care reform has helped families in Colorado – and all of them would suffer, needlessly, if lawmakers repealed the ACA.
FOX 31's Eli Stokols reports, a new ad from GOP-aligned Crossroads GPS goes after Sen. Mark Udall using another anecdotal "personal story" about the horrors of Obamacare.
Which, like other ads from GOP message groups on the same theme, appears to be completely bogus:
[T]he woman in the ad, Richelle McKim, is actually an employee of an energy company that is among the biggest donors to Udall’s opponent, and her story, which seemingly contradicts information on her publicly available LinkedIn profile, is at least more complicated than the 30-second version hitting Colorado’s airwaves starting Thursday.
In the new spot, titled “Richelle”, McKim is sitting at her kitchen table with a cup of coffee talking about how “policies coming out of Washington really do affect us here at home.”
She describes her husband’s decision to start his own business.
“We knew we needed to find healthcare,” McKim said. “Because we were a single income family, we couldn’t afford our plan.”
On the screen, text appears that reads: “Richelle had to go back to work.”
But as Stokols continues, that's not the whole story by a longshot:
Reached by phone Thursday afternoon at her office, McKim explained that she went back to work in 2010 because it was too tough making ends meet on her husband’s income.
“It wasn’t the Affordable Care Act,” she said. [Pols emphasis] “It was just a financial burden, having a single income for so long.”
As it turns out, Richelle McKim has been employed since well before the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, even took effect, or took could in any way affect her family's health coverage:
McKim’s own LinkedIn profile shows that she has worked constantly since July 2008 — four months before President Obama was elected.
McKim worked for her husband's company until 2010, when she went to work for Anadarko Petroleum. Today Mrs. McKim is an engineer for Noble Energy. Stokols astutely notes that both Anadarko and Noble Energy have given tens of thousands of dollars to Sen. Udall's GOP opponent Cory Gardner.
Obviously, the ad relays none of these facts to the viewing audience. The ad doesn't say when McKim had to go back to work in order to afford health insurance, but plainly attempts to link her story to Obamacare–even though it's not related. When questioned by Stokols, McKim tells a convoluted story about how her husband previously had "the freedom" to not have insurance, and that's why she thinks Obamacare is bad, even though the ACA mandated coverage for her husband's high blood pressure. That was the reason McKim gave for her husband wanting the "freedom" to go uninsured. In short, the ACA fixed the problem McKim's family had with health insurance.
Bottom line: this is yet another example of a deceptive Republican attack on Obamacare falling apart under even casual scrutiny. McKim gamely tries to defend her story in this ad to Eli Stokols, but it's obvious as soon as she says the words "it wasn't the Affordable Care Act" that this entire ad is a deception. As with the previous ads from Americans for Prosperity and others we've seen, the strategy seems to depend on viewers never finding out that the story they're being told is either fictional or indefensibly misleading.
If it was our face in this ad, we'd have trouble showing it now. But maybe we're quaint like that.