A conservative advocacy group that spent millions on issue ads during the 2012 election cycle plans to continue a seven-figure campaign that aims to convince people to think twice before signing up for health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act.
Americans for Prosperity, a group partially funded by donors David and Charles Koch, plans to release a television ad Wednesday to raise questions about the law. Instead of focusing on the law’s repeal, AFP's newest effort will argue that health insurance premiums will rise for those who sign up for the exchanges. The group also is making plans to dispatch activists to sporting events, festivals and town fairs in multiple states for the next several months to warn people that they could have fewer medical choices under the law.
“This is more about going to folks where they are and talking to them,” AFP President Tim Phillips told Yahoo News. “We’re saying, make sure you understand the impact this law will have on you if you sign up.”
The federal government will begin to implement key parts of the Affordable Care Act, the health insurance overhaul commonly called Obamacare that passed along partisan lines and was signed by President Barack Obama in 2010, as early as 2014. In order for the law to function as planned, millions of Americans must pro-actively sign up for health insurance plans enacted by the legislation. The Obama administration is urging people to enroll. An independent group, Enroll America, has launched a nationwide campaign to provide information about how to take part in the exchanges.
But a coalition of conservative groups is urging people not to sign up at all, which, if effective, would make it difficult for many parts of the law to function. The AFP campaign, which began with an initial $700,000 investment for an ad in July, won’t explicitly advise people not to sign up, but the insinuation is strong.
“The reason we’re doing this now is that this is the final run-up to final implementation,” Phillips told Yahoo News. “As a lot of Americans decide what to do when the Enroll America paid community organizer shows up at an event in their community, we want them to consider exactly what this law means for them personally. So we want to run these ads now before they make that decision.”
Enrollment for the exchanges is set to begin in October.