Or­ga­ni­za­tions buy Oba­macare at­tack ads dur­ing re­cess.

Or­ga­ni­za­tions put pres­sure on mod­er­ates

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY TOM HOW­ELL JR.

Repub­li­can lead­ers say Congress’ two-week re­cess of­fers a “cool­ing-off” pe­riod for GOP law­mak­ers who’ve failed to co­a­lesce around a plan to re­peal and re­place Oba­macare, but out­side groups are di­al­ing up the heat with ad buys and talk­ing points be­fore they can even un­pack their bags.

Mod­er­ate Repub­li­cans are feel­ing the squeeze, be­ing at­tacked by left-wing groups for even mulling the GOP’s re­peal bill, even as con­ser­va­tives say the mod­er­ates need to stiffen their spines and join Repub­li­cans’ di­rect as­sault on the Af­ford­able Care Act.

The Club for Growth, a con­ser­va­tive group, said Mon­day it will spend $1 mil­lion on ads that cheer Pres­i­dent Trump’s re­peal ef­forts and urge mod­er­ates to back a con­ser­va­tive push to let states waive the parts of Oba­macare that have been blamed for high pre­mi­ums.

“There’s a few mod­er­ates that have worked to thwart th­ese ef­forts,” said David McIn­tosh, pres­i­dent of the club and a for­mer con­gress­man him­self. He said Rep. Chris Collins of New York, Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illi­nois and eight others will be tar­geted in ads that will be­gin run­ning later this week.

Both of those law­mak­ers sup­ported House GOP lead­ers’ re­peal bill last month, but have ex­pressed reser­va­tions about ef­forts to pla­cate the ul­tra­con­ser­va­tive House Free­dom Cau­cus.

Mean­while a lib­eral coali­tion, Save My Care, an­nounced its own seven-fig­ure ad buy against Repub­li­cans who ei­ther backed the GOP’s bill last month, or who didn’t is­sue force­ful enough rejections.

Two of the tar­geted law­mak­ers — Reps. Brian Mast of Florida and Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey — rep­re­sent dis­tricts car­ried by Mr. Trump in Novem­ber. The others rep­re­sents dis­tricts that Demo­cratic nom­i­nee Hil­lary Clin­ton car­ried. They are Reps. Darrell Issa of Cal­i­for­nia, Mike Coff­man of Colorado, Car­los Curbelo of Florida, Martha McSally of Ari­zona and David Val­adao of Cal­i­for­nia.

The House GOP’s cam­paign arm will hit back this week by tar­get­ing one vul­ner­a­ble Demo­crat per day with mo­bile bill­boards in their dis­tricts, start­ing with Rep. Josh Got­theimer, a Demo­crat who un­seated long­time con­gress­man E. Scott Gar­rett in north­ern New Jersey.

“Tell Josh Got­theimer: No to Oba­macare! No to sin­gle-payer health­care!” the billboard from the Na­tional Repub­li­can Con­gres­sional Com­mit­tee says next to the con­gress­man’s of­fice phone num­ber.

The NRCC will re­veal the re­main­ing tar­gets each day dur­ing the week, though said the law­mak­ers rep­re­sent dis­tricts scat­tered across the coun­try, in­clud­ing both coasts and the South.

House GOP lead­ers thought they’d be toast­ing a vic­tory on health care and fo­cus­ing on a his­toric tax over­haul by now.

In­stead, Repub­li­cans botched their first at­tempt, pulling the bill at the last minute af­ter it be­came clear they’d lost too much support from both ends.

Con­ser­va­tives said the bill was too sim­i­lar to Oba­macare, while mod­er­ate Repub­li­cans fret­ted over an analysis that es­ti­mated 24 mil­lion fewer peo­ple would have cov­er­age un­der the Repub­li­can plan a decade from now. Democrats, mean­while, are united in op­po­si­tion, mean­ing the GOP must find more unity within its own ranks if it’s to res­ur­rect the bill.

Hop­ing to forge a con­sen­sus, GOP lead­ers last week pro­posed spend­ing $15 bil­lion to sub­si­dize pre­mi­ums for sicker cus­tomers. The hope was to give em­bat­tled Repub­li­cans a po­ten­tial break­through to tout to vot­ers back home dur­ing a two-week spring break.

Pres­i­dent Trump’s at­tempt to re­peal the Af­ford­able Health­care Act failed. The Club for Growth said it will spend $1 mil­lion on ads that cheer re­peal ef­forts.

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