Republicans are hoping to pin the “lie of the year” on Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley to derail his bid for a seat in the U.S. Senate.
“It is going to be the No. 1 issue” of the 2014 congressional campaign, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said about the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. “The law stinks, and it’s a disaster for this country.”
The RNC is launching radio ads in Iowa to highlight Braley’s version of what the fact-checking group PolitiFact called the 2013 Lie of the Year: “If you like your plan, you can keep it.”
President Barack Obama and numerous Democrats, including Braley, offered that assurance to Americans concerned they would lose their health insurance plan if the ACA was implemented.
“So yeah, it’s a big issue,” Priebus said on a conference call with reporters Tuesday. “Bruce Braley told the people in Iowa Obamacare would allow them to maintain their choice of health insurance. That’s a direct quote. That’s a quote you’re going to see all over Iowa.”
Iowans listening to their radios are likely to hear that message as the GOP tried to “set the stage in the argument” by using Democrats’ words against them, Priebus said.
The relatively small ad buy is another example of Republicans misreading Iowa voters, according to Jeff Giertz, spokesman for the Braley Senate campaign.
“Washington Republicans don’t know the story of what’s going on here in Iowa,” he said. “So they are starting the new year the same way they ended the last one: attacking health care reform and trying to completely repeal it.”
The fact is, according to Giertz, Iowa consumers are enjoying some of the lowest health insurance premiums in the country thanks to Obamacare.
“More than 100,000 Iowans have health insurance because of Bruce Braley, (Republican) Gov. Terry Branstad and the Iowa Legislature,” Giertz said. He was referring to Iowa partnering with the federal government to expand a Medicaid access.
The ad, which will run in all Iowa markets, asks voters to join the GOP in making a New Year’s resolution to hold Democrats running in 2014 accountable for their dishonesty, Priebus said.
Here’s the transcript of the ad:
“So what’s your New Year’s resolution? Here’s one you can keep. Resolve to keep Rep. Bruce Braley honest in 2014.
“President Obama and Braley said if you like your insurance plan, you can keep it under ObamaCare. They lied to you. Big time. PolitiFact called that the ‘lie of the year.’
“Millions will lose their insurance — and their doctors.
“2014 is your chance to hold Braley accountable. Tell him this is one New Year’s resolution you’re sticking to.”
Republicans, Giertz said, want to “completely repeal the law and go back to the days when insurance companies could deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions or kick people off their insurance when they got sick or raise premiums without justification.”
“Iowans can’t afford that,” he said.
When confronted with a choice between repeal of Obamacare and “improving the law and making it better, Iowans, for the most part, side with improving the law and making it netter, which Bruce Braley is working for.”