In response to the Supreme Court ruling upholding President Barack Obama's health care law, Americans for Prosperity, a conservative advocacy group, announced plans on Friday to spend $9 million on a campaign against the law.
The project includes a new ad that will run in media markets in a dozen swing states, and focuses on the president's insistence that the federal mandate to purchase health insurance is not a "tax." On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that the provision is constitutional only if it's considered a tax, although the White House continues to refer to it as a "penalty."
The ad advocates for the repeal of the law and calls it "one of the largest tax increases in history," a line sure to be repeated on the presidential campaign trail.
"Obama's health care law is actually one of the largest tax increases in history," a female narrator says in the ad. "Shouldn't President Obama's priorities have been creating jobs and ending reckless spending?"
Charles and David Koch, billionaires who donate heavily to political causes, are the founders of the group paying for the campaign, and the group has spent several million dollars already this year on anti-Obama issue ads.
The Democratic National Committee pushed back on the ad Friday afternoon, disagreeing with the characterization of the individual mandate as a "tax," and accusing AFP of using "deception" in the ad.
"Only about 1 percent of Americans are expected to pay the penalty. In fact, all Americans who responsibly carry coverage are completely unaffected by this penalty," DNC spokeswoman Melanie Roussell said in a statement. "Under Romneycare, the individual mandate is structured exactly the same way as the requirement in the Affordable Care Act and even Romney himself touted how the law encourages free riders to take responsibility for their health care. All of which begs a simple question: if Republicans are attacking the President's individual mandate as a tax, why aren't they attacking Mitt Romney's?"