As the Colorado Independent's John Tomasic reports, two new Obamascare ads from big-ticket conservative activist group Americans for Prosperity are freshly running in Colorado–and the organization's highly dubious track record for accuracy appears little improved:
The words in the ad are chosen carefully. Health care costs had been on the rise for decades, which was the main motivation driving health care wonks on the right and left to design the policies that became the Affordable Care Act. In fact, costs have leveled off recently. FactCheck.org in February summarized the debate over why the costs are leveling and said it was just too early to tell how the Affordable Care Act will affect costs in the future…
AFP zeros in on Udall over the issue of policy cancellations.
“335,000 Coloradans received a cancellation notice,” says the narrator. “What did Mark Udall do? He tried to hide it. Udall pressured state officials to report fewer policy cancellations to make Obamacare look better.”
As our readers know, this is not even close to accurate–but it summarizes the Republican deception in the flap last winter over supposed policy "cancellations." The fact is, as we've discussed repeatedly, over 90% of those "cancellations" were in fact renewal notices. Udall's inquiry with the state sought to establish that, and the state's commissioner of insurance Marguerite Salazar said "the Senator’s efforts were useful" in getting the facts right. We now know that not only did these hundreds of thousands of policyholders remain insured, but the rate of uninsured in Colorado has plunged from 17% of the population to only 11%.
Like we said about Karl Rove's Obamascare ad a few days ago, these ads are too late. The dire predictions didn't materialize. The public can see that with their own eyes. Too many thousands of Coloradans have Obamacare success stories to tell now, not horror stories.
But as the Independent's Tomasic continues, that isn't even slowing down AFP:
The other anti-Obamacare ad released by AFP today targets three Democratic state senators from swing Jefferson County — Cheri Jahn, Andy Kerr and Jeanne Nicholson. Democrats enjoy a mere one-seat majority in the Senate and Republicans are gunning to flip the balance.
The ad says the lawmakers “made Obamacare worse” in Colorado by approving the establishment of the Connect for Health state insurance exchange marketplace.
This second AFP ad (above), targeting Colorado Democratic Sens. Cheri Jahn, Andy Kerr, and Jeanne Nicholson, is nothing short of ridiculous for anyone who knows the story of Colorado's bipartisan-created health insurance marketplace. By every objective measure, the Colorado health insurance marketplace has performed much better than either the federal exchange or the exchanges in most other states, not worse. Just today, a study from the Urban Institute says that the Colorado exchange is highly competitive and offers consumers low premiums. Although Colorado's exchange website had some startup issues, they were resolved far quicker than the federal exchange's infamous chronic breakdowns. It is demonstrably a false statement that Colorado's health insurance exchange "made Obamacare worse"–as Republican sponsors of the exchange like Rep. Amy Stephens are more than happy to tell you, our exchange made Obamacare better.
Bottom line: Americans for Prosperity has released so many false ads about Obamacare–and don't take our word for it, consult any fact-checker you trust–that it's clear at this point the truth is simply not a priority for this organization. That sounds like a typical campaign-season accusation, but it's true in this case beyond the usual back-and-forth. This is an organization spending literally millions of dollars to spread messages that are demonstrably, objectively not true. They are doing it because they know more people will see their ads than will see the fact-check stories disproving them.
In ways that should merit bipartisan outrage, this group sums up what's wrong with politics in America today.