WASHINGTON – Now that the federal government shutdown has ended, House Republicans are trying to return to the offense with a series of radio ads targeting Democratic U.S. Reps. Rick Nolan, Collin Peterson and Tim Walz over the difficult rollout of the healthcare marketplaces that are part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The ads feature two voices complaining about the difficulty of signing up for insurance on the new online health insurance exchanges, the cost to build those marketplaces and subsidized healthcare that members of Congress receive. The National Republican Congressional Committee did not disclose the size of its purchase, which means it’s likely small and designed mostly to garner media attention.
Still, the ads are noteworthy because they represent a rhetorical shift. If you’ll remember, the government was shuttered on Oct. 1 after President Obama and Senate Democrats rebuffed a GOP spending bill that would have removed funding for the ACA. Now, the Republican argument is that the law doesn’t work well enough.
The three Democrats all represent districts that are potentially competitive for Republican candidates though only Nolan has drawn a GOP challenger, Stewart Mills, whom the NRCC is enthusiastic about.
6th District Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann also waded into the Obamacare rollout issue on Thursday, signing onto a letter to President Obama calling for the firing of Health and Human Services Sec. Kathleen Sebelius and penning an op-ed for the National Review arguing that the healthcare law should be made voluntary.