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

Democratic outside groups are targeting Republican congressmen for backing an 'age tax' in their Trumpcare plan. (Still of a House Majority PAC/Priorities USA ad).
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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:

Congresswoman Martha McSally

Congressman Jeff Denham

Congressman David Valadao

Congresswoman Mimi Walters

Congressman Darrell Issa

Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart

Congressman Tim Walberg

Congressman Mike Bishop

Congressman David Trott 

Congressman Sean Duffy

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Notable Replies

  1. One good strategy (until the republic party shuts it down). Reality based Americans will need several hundred good strategies each for 2018 & 2020 :thinking:

  2. Sadly I think Dems need to put up a candidate that’s a middle aged to older white guy that does the same things as Obama or Hillary would have done to get the US straightened out so that old white voters will see the benefits of D policy and start voting D again or at least enough, or be a minority of voters. Only then will we be able to offer up another black or a woman (i.e. not white male) candidate and hope to win.

  3. Oh, IMHO they simply need a compelling candidate, regardless of race or gender. Hell, I think even an atheist could win, if she had the right economic message. There were enough voters in Wi and Mi, for example, who voted for Obama and Stabenow/Baldwin who switched sides to vote for Trump to make the difference there. Let´s not end up with a candidate picked on the basis of the perceived prejudices of the electorate. Let´s get a candidate with smarts, and maybe a little fire in the belly, regardless of gender/¨race¨.

  4. I agreed. Trump came across as authentic if you were a certain demographic. We need to be less grievance based and more fired up.

  5. Republicans have been very good at their messaging to scare people over what the Democrats “want to do” or “will do,” and, of course it’s all just made up. Let’s see if the Democrats can successfully message the fact that Republicans have actually voted for bills that will hurt the groups the ads target. Because Republicans will say, and many of these voters will believe, “The bill didn’t pass so we weren’t really doing anything that would harm you. And Obamacare is failing - see, look - so we have to do something. We will do something good, and the Democrats won’t. Democrats just want to tax you and force you to do things so they can give stuff to…you know, those other people.”

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