One Conservative Group’s Multi-Million Dollar Quest to Repeal ‘Obamacare’

By Nicki Rossoll

Sep 20, 2013 6:00am

The powerful and well-funded conservative group Americans for Prosperity took  to the airwaves again this week, launching its biggest television advertising blitz yet against the Affordable Care Act.

The Koch brothers-fueled Americans for Prosperity released a new 60-second ad on Thursday that includes a Florida woman named Tricia who tells her story of surviving cancer and shares her fears about Obamacare.

“The changes in our health care system are a big concern to me,” Tricia says in the ad. “Obamacare is dangerous. It can’t be implemented. Your well-being judged by a bureaucrat in D.C. is devastating.”

The group is putting strong financial muscle behind the effort — $3 million, according to a source familiar with the buy. The ad will run in six states (Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia) between now and early October when the Healthcare Insurance Marketplace is set to launch nationwide.

“AFP will continue to lead the charge on the grassroots level in exposing the negative consequence of Obama’s health care law,” a spokesperson for the group, told ABC News. “Throughout the country, AFP state chapters have held an average of 75 events a month focused on the health care law.”

Over the past few months, Americans for Prosperity has spent millions on the television and radio airwaves, online and in print on anti-Obamacare messages. And according to an analysis by a media tracking group published in USA Today Thursday, “Between July 1 and Sept. 16, Americans for Prosperity led all advertising, running more than 3,200 spots to slam the law, according to a tally of advertising by Kantar Media. That’s four times the number of ads placed in the same period by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the government agency charged with implementing the law, Kantar’s estimates show.”

Here’s a look at Americans for Prosperity’s three previous television ads on the issue:

“Questions,” July 7, 2013

This ad — the first in a series — features Julie, a mother of two, describing her journey to care for her son Caleb when he was suffering from seizures.

“The medical care he received meant the world to me,” Julie says in the ad. She then continues to list her worries about the health care law’s effects on her family. “How do I know my family is going to get the care they need? And what am I getting in exchange for higher premiums and a smaller paycheck? Can I really trust the folks in Washington with my family’s health care? I think we all deserve some answers.”

Two independent fact-checking organizations, FactCheck.org and Politifact.org, reviewed the group’s first ad and concluded that it contained “loaded questions and makes false assumptions.”

“Doctor Questions,” July 30, 2013

Dr. Mary Ellen Gallagher, a family physician and pediatrician, is the focus of Americans for Prosperity’s second advertisement. Gallagher says she has practiced medicine  for 15 years, and worries that Obamacare will change the way she runs her practice.

“Will my time be spent navigating a complicated system? Or helping people get well?” she asks.  ”I think there are still a lot of questions.”

“My Daughter,” September 3, 2013

A third television commercial, titled “My Daughter,” focuses on Renay, the mother of a 12-year old girl named Caleigh. Renay says her daughter has undergone 16 surgeries, four of which were open heart. Renay expresses her satisfaction with Caleigh’s doctors during her time in the hospital, and worries that under Obamacare she will not be able to have access to excellent physicians.

“With the government in the middle of things, I’m worried we won’t be able to keep the same doctors,” Renay says. “There’s still lots of questions, and its way past time for us to get some real answers.”

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