Conservative group Americans for Prosperity launched a $700,000 ad campaign targeting Sen. Mark Pryor (D., Ark.) for his support of the Affordable Care Act. The ad, which will be broadcast statewide beginning Thursday and running for the next three weeks, brings the group's total spending on the Senate race to more than $1.3 million. In the ad, a woman identified as Wanda of Marion, Ark., says Blue Cross Blue Shield notified her and her husband that their health coverage would be canceled as of December 2014. "Well now, when somebody tells you if you like it, you can keep it, you believe them," she says, referring to remarks President Barack Obama made when he was touting the health care law. "But that's not so in this case."
The problem is that earlier this month, the Arkansas Insurance Department released a bulletin explaining that the state's insurance providers could follow a recently announced federal change that would allow people with non-compliant plans to stay on them as late as October 2017. Heather Haywood, a public information manager with the state's insurance department, elaborated upon the change in an email to The Huffington Post Thursday. "Insurance carriers sent notifications to consumers that coverage under health policies that did not comply with the ACA, would end December 2014," Haywood wrote. "Pursuant to the March 5 CCIIO Bulletin -- extension of transitional policy through October 1, 2016 -- Arkansas Insurance Commissioner [Jay] Bradford issued AID Bulletin 6-2014 extending coverage through October 1, 2016."
The Koch-backed group has been more relentless in its efforts to block the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion than just about any advocacy organization. And in Arkansas, where this ad is on the air, the group pushed hard for the state to reverse its Medicaid expansion, which would have canceled coverage for the 100,000 people who had already signed up in the state.