Dems Aim For Older Voters, Slam GOP Reps. For Trumpcare’s ‘Age Tax’

House Majority PAC/Priorities USA
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Democrats are making an early push for older voters in their bid to take back the House, slamming congressional Republicans for voting for a plan to repeal Obamacare that included higher insurance premiums for older voters.

The House Majority PAC and Priorities USA, a pair of heavy-hitting Democratic outside groups, are launching a fleet of digital ads against 10 GOP congressmen who voted for the repeal bill and its “age tax that could devastate retirements.”

The message of the ads, first shared with TPM, is clearly aimed at older voters whose premiums could have spiked dramatically if congressional Republicans’ plans had become law. The House GOP plan would have loosened the current law’s limit on insurance companies only being able to charge older people three times what they charge younger people to a limit of five times as much.

House Majority PAC Executive Director Charlie Kelly said House Republicans “decided to throw their constituents under the bus by voting for a disastrous healthcare bill that imposes a devastating ‘Age Tax’ on older Americans,” while said Priorities USA Executive Director Patrick McHugh called it “simply unforgivable” that they backed a plan that does so while “cutting taxes for millionaires.”

Their target list is a mix of Republicans in Democratic-leaning districts, like Reps. David Valadao (R-CA) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), congressmen from older, heavily blue-collar areas like Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI), and some where both factors are at play, like Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ), who represents one of the more senior-heavy areas in the country and one of the most Democratic-friendly. One fifth of her district’s constituents are over the age of 65, and Trump lost the district by 5 percentage points.

The ad buy is part of a six-figure effort from Democratic outside groups to make Republicans pay for their Obamacare repeal votes.

Democrats are hopeful that the GOP’s deeply unpopular bills have given them an opening with older and blue-collar voters, groups that have moved away from them in recent election cycles and helped deliver President Trump to the White House last election, much as their fight against President George W. Bush’s efforts to privatize Social Security paid big dividends the last time they retook the House in 2006.

A full list of the targets:

AZ-02 
Congresswoman Martha McSally

CA-10
Congressman Jeff Denham

CA-21
Congressman David Valadao

CA-45
Congresswoman Mimi Walters

CA-49
Congressman Darrell Issa

FL-25
Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart

MI-07
Congressman Tim Walberg

MI-08
Congressman Mike Bishop

MI-11
Congressman David Trott 

WI-07
Congressman Sean Duffy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cameron Joseph is Talking Points Memo's senior political correspondent based in Washington, D.C. He covers Capitol Hill, the White House and the permanent campaign. Previous publications include the New York Daily News, Mashable, The Hill and National Journal. He grew up near Chicago and is an irrationally passionate Cubs fan.
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