New Ads Urge Democrats to Support Health Care Repeal
Published by Roll Call
By Jackie Kucinich
The Heritage Foundation’s newly launched 501(c)(4) will launch a series of ads beginning Tuesday against seven House Democrats who voted against the health care law but who have not signed onto a House Republican measure to repeal it.
The Heritage Action for America ads include television, radio and web spots and will appear in seven Democratic districts. Heritage is hoping to pressure those Members to sign a discharge petition that would force an up-or-down vote on a repeal of the health care reform law.
That discharge petition is sponsored by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) and currently has 170 Republican co-sponsors. The measure needs 218 signatures in order to force a vote on the House floor.
Thirty-two Democrats voted against the final health care bill last March, but none has yet to sign onto the King measure. Republicans voted unanimously against the final version of the legislation.
Heritage Action for America will run television ads in the districts of three Democrats —Reps. Travis Childers, (Miss.), Ike Skelton (Mo.) and Mike McIntyre (N.C.) —according to Daniel Holler, communications director for Heritage Action for America. Holler declined to list the four other targeted incumbents.
“The King bill is a straight repeal,” said Michael Needham, chief executive officer of the advocacy group, who stressed the difference between opposing the bill and pushing to overturn it.
But Democrats were not the initial targets of Heritage Action for America’s repeal effort. Heritage Action launched earlier this summer.
Before the August recess, the group was urging House Republicans to sign on to King’s repeal petition. Still 25 Members shy of securing the support of the entire House Republican Conference, Heritage Action for America at that time sent out a release listing the Members who had yet to sign on and warned that there would be consequences.
There are currently eight Republicans who have yet to sign on to the repeal effort.
Needham said if Democrats begin signing on, the pressure would increase on the remaining GOP holdouts.
“In the coming weeks and months, Heritage Action will engage in grassroots advocacy to educate Members of Congress and their constituents about the problems with Obamacare,” the July 26 release said. “Heritage Action will target Members of Congress at home in their districts and in Washington, DC with paid issue advertisements, local grassroots activity, online activist tools and earned media.”