As Washington, D.C. buzzes with the impending vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), last-minute ads and incentive-based 2018 reelection funds are trying to influence the outcome.
The American Action Network, which counts allies of Republican House leadership among its organizers, is targeting the conservative House Freedom Caucus on conservative talk radio with 60-second ads. The House Freedom Caucus has been tepid about the new bill, arguing that it does not go far enough to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
“The Republicans’ plan provides more choices and lower costs,” listeners of the ad are told. “The American Health Care Act is a conservative plan to end Obamacare. President Trump is 100% behind these strong conservative reforms.”
President Trump himself makes a cameo at the tail end of the ad: “This is going to be great for people.”
The ad is targeting 28 districts in Alabama, Arizona (Phoenix market), Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee (Nashville market), Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.
In January, the American Action Network spent over $4 million on TV, digital and print supporting the repeal of Obamacare.
Still, tensions are rising within the Republican Party.
Conservative kingmakers the Koch brothers have set up a seven-digit fund through the Koch Network, promising to only fund the reelection campaigns of Republicans who vote “no” on the AHCA.
Further, the Koch Network’s Americans for Prosperity said it will immediately ramp up their paid digital efforts to thank Republican members of the House who vote against AHCA.
The Paul Ryan arm of the Republican Party is bracing for attacks from the Democrats. Planned Parenthood said it would start a mailer campaign to constituents of Republican members who vote “yes” in districts carried by Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Today’s expected vote — there is a chance the AHCA vote could be delayed — is also spurring the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) into action. Its first ad of the 2017-2018 cycle, titled “The Price,” takes aim at the AHCA ending with the words: “What will the Republican health care bill cost you?”