The American Action Network, founded by veteran GOP fundraisers to support the speaker's agenda, will spend $2.2 million on TV and digital buys over the next two weeks to promote GOP efforts related to overhauling the law across two dozen media markets.That's in addition to $5.2 million already spent on Obamacare-related advertising since the start of the year.
Congressional Republicans are feeling quite antsy following the recent wave of progressive activism, including some fierce audiences at town-hall events, and GOP leaders are eager to ease their burden. The Washington Post noted yesterday that 22 House Republicans are "about to get some air cover from a conservative outside group aligned with Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and his leadership team."
A total of $7.4 million in ad buys in the winter after an election is a considerable investment, and it got me wondering exactly what kind of message the American Action Network is pushing.The most recent ad features a woman who says, after criticizing the Affordable Care Act, "[W]e need to move forward with a new plan that Republicans are putting forward. I support the Republicans' effort to fix health care for the American people."This comes a month after a different ad from the American Action Network that touted a new GOP plan that provides "more choices and better care at lower costs" and "provides peace of mind to people with preexisting conditions." The commercial added, "House Republicans have a plan to get there without disrupting existing coverage."To which the obvious follow-up question is, "They do? Since when?"By all appearances, this conservative group "aligned with" Paul Ryan is investing considerable amounts of money in support of a GOP health care plan that, at least for now, doesn't exist in reality.When Vox asked the American Action Network which "plan" the group was referring to, the organization pointed to the Better Way proposal the House Speaker unveiled last year. That's nice, I suppose, but no serious person could possibly think Ryan's blueprint constitutes an actual health care proposal. It included no details; it accompanied no legislation; it presented no numbers to scrutinize; and the document the Speaker's office unveiled ultimately amounted to little more than "37 pages of talking points."What's more, even taken at face value, the broad goals Ryan pointed to are in conflict with the promises included in the American Action Network's message."[W]e need to move forward with a new plan that Republicans are putting forward"? I suppose that's a possibility, though finishing this "plan" after more than seven years of private, behind-closed-doors work would be a helpful first step.