Americans For Prosperity is struggling to find a way to attack Obamacare that fits the facts.
The Koch-funded conservative activist group is spending millions of dollars on TV ads aimed at undermining the Affordable Care Act and unseating Democratic senators who voted for it in their 2014 reelection fights.
But the ads keep falling flat upon examination of their claims.
One ad features a horror story from Julie Boonstra, a 49-year-old cancer patient who says her plan was canceled by Obamacare and that her new one was too expensive. “If I do not receive my medication, I will die,” she says. But as TPM and others reported, it turns out Boonstra would actually save money under Obamacare, although she wouldn’t admit it.
Another features a man who says he’s “scared to death” because Obamacare would lead to “bureaucrats telling me what kind of services I am going to qualify for.” The Washington Post’s fact-checker took it apart. Yet another features a woman who laments that her plan was canceled, but omits the rest of the story.
In response, AFP shifted course and decided to strike an emotional chord against Obamacare without claiming people were worse off as a result of it. That tactic was employed in its latest ad, which features a woman speaking to the camera.
“People don’t like political ads. I don’t like them either. But health care isn’t about politics,” the woman says. “It’s about people. And millions of people have lost their health insurance, millions of people can’t see their own doctors, and millions are paying more and getting less.”
It turns out even that ad was a swing and a miss. PolitiFact looked into the claim that people were “paying more and getting less” under Obamacare. Data from the Kaiser Family Foundation reveals that insurance premiums have increased at a slower rate since Obamacare passed than was the case before it became law.
The “getting less” claim is even more curious because Obamacare imposes minimum standards for insurance policies and beefs up regulations to guarantee coverage for people with preexisting conditions, cap annual out-of-pocket costs and prevent people from being thrown off their plan.
“At worst, they’re paying more to get more, though in many cases they’re actually paying less,” PolitiFact concluded. “We rate this claim False.”