Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor is winning plaudits from the left for a new ad that touts his support for the Affordable Care Act — but refuses to ever say the health-care law’s name.
The Democratic incumbent is in a tight race against Republican challenger Rep. Tom Cotton, who supports the repeal of Obamacare. The 30-second commercial, part of a six-figure ad buy, features Pryor and his father, a former Arkansas senator and governor, discussing Sen. Pryor’s battle with cancer.
“No one should be fighting an insurance company while you’re fighting for your life,” Pryor says in the commercial. “That’s why I helped pass a law that prevents insurance companies from canceling your policy if you get sick, or deny coverage for pre-existing conditions.”
Pryor cites his support for simply “a law,” failing to mention its name by saying either “Obamacare” or the “Affordable Care Act.” Liberal pundits are celebrating the rare pro-Obamacare ad, which may be the first of this election cycle, but the blatant omission of the signature law’s name shows how weak support remains.
In fact, national opposition to the health care law reached an all-time high in August according to a poll from Kaiser Family Foundation, which has tracked public opinion on the law since it passed in 2010. (RELATED: Obamacare Opposition Spikes To All-Time High)
With rising premiums and canceled plans, 53 percent of Americans still see Obamacare negatively. More Americans say they’ve been hurt by the health-care law than say they’ve been helped.
But Pryor’s ad appears to be an attempt to move the conversation about Obamacare away from its many failed promises, and back to the more simplistic terms Demcorats used while fighting to pass the law: the battle against evil insurance companies.
“Mark’s insurance company didn’t want to pay for the treatment that ultimately saved his life,” former Sen. David Pryor lamented.
The argument against greedy insurance companies may prove to be a popular one. But big insurance companies are some of Obamacare’s biggest beneficiaries — and their closeness with the Obama administration is already raising questions. As it becomes more obvious that supposedly greedy insurance companies are benefiting from Obamacare, it may be difficult for Democrats to run against them again.