The Plutocracy is spending millions to deny Americans health care


Think Progress reports on the startling amount of money already spent this year by the Plutocracy to deny Americans health care. Outside Political Groups Are Spending Record Amounts Of Money To Deny Poor People Health Care:

Obamacare opponents have already run more than 30,000 television ads attacking the health law and Democratic candidates who support it, according to the media tracking group CMAGa staggering 12-fold increase from four years ago. Many of the ads are being run in states with high uninsurance rates where hundreds of thousands of poor people could benefit from the Affordable Care Act, including Arkansas, Kentucky, and Louisiana.

Nearly half of all ads that have been run about the health law in House and Senate races through March 9 are critical of the ACA. And in a reflection of the post-Citizens United political landscape, spending by outside groups without any official connection to a particular organization or party accounts for almost three-fourths of all the commercials, compared to just 13 percent in 2010.

“We knew there would be heightened public awareness around the implementation of the law, and we thought it was important to go up early with a heavy effort,” said Tim Phillips, president of the Koch brother-funded group Americans for Prosperity (AFP), in an interview with Bloomberg.

Screenshot from 2014-03-16 15:02:38
DonkeyHotey: The Koch Brothers Campaign Carnaval | Flickr – Photo Sharing.

AFP has run the most anti-Obamacare ads of any political group by a large margin, targeting vulnerable Democrats who are up for re-election, such as Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA). The organization’s spots play up misleading “horror stories” related to the health law, such as Americans who have had their insurance policies cancelled or seen their premiums spike. But the ads’ content tends to range from exaggeration to outright misinformation — and AFP has even been caught hiring paid actors to play the roles of “real” local residents.

It remains to be seen just how much the advertising assault will affect this November’s elections. But many of the commercials are concentrated in regions where large numbers of people can — and already have — take advantage of Obamacare’s consumer protections and financial assistance, especially the health law’s optional expansion of Medicaid.

A Bloomberg Poll from Thursday shows that Americans stick with Obamacare as opposition burns bright:

President Barack Obama’s health-care law is becoming more entrenched, with 64 percent of Americans now supporting it outright or backing small changes. […]“Things definitely seem to be getting better,” said Paul Attard, 50, a political independent in Evergreen, Colorado and a program manager for a cell-phone company who wants the law modified rather than repealed. “It seems like they are getting a lot more people to join. It’s a sign that the system is working.” […]

Fifty-one percent of Americans favor retaining the Affordable Care Act with “small modifications,” while 13 percent would leave the law intact and 34 percent would repeal it. That’s the highest level of public acceptance for the law yet in the Bloomberg poll.

By the way, do you know who benefits from all this early campaign ad spending? The cable companies and television networks. They are on their way to record advertising revenue from political ads this year. If you believe this does not affect the content of news coverage, I have a bridge in New Jersey I’d like to sell you.