Ryan-aligned group pressures vulnerable Republicans to support healthcare bill

Ryan-aligned group pressures vulnerable Republicans to support healthcare bill
© Greg Nash

A group allied with House GOP leaders is targeting Republicans in competitive House districts with an ad campaign ahead of a potential vote this week on legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

American Action Network (AAN) is launching digital ads on Monday through video, display ads and landing pages urging lawmakers to support the GOP leadership-backed bill, titled the American Health Care Act.

AAN has spent more than $10 million over the course of its advocacy campaign for the healthcare plan. It has targeted Republicans representing districts carried by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonWasserman Schultz to Sanders: Dems are already a grassroots party Comey: FBI is 'not on anybody's side' White House extends Obama executive order on cyber threats MORE and in territory friendly to President Trump.

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Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanBlack Caucus calls on Ryan to remove Nunes as Intel Committee chair Governing means supporting AHCA Overnight Healthcare: Insurers face big choice on staying in ObamaCare | HHS chief Price grilled over budget cuts MORE (R-Wis.) and his leadership team are aiming for a Thursday vote on the legislation. But it’s unclear whether the measure has enough votes to pass, due to concerns from the centrist and conservative wings of the House GOP.  

A sample digital ad says, “Tell Congress it’s time for better health care. Pass the American Health Care Act.”

“As conservatives, this is the moment we have been fighting for over the past eight years. It’s time to pass President Trump and Speaker Ryan’s conservative health care plan that will provide access to quality, affordable health care for all,” AAN executive director Corry Bliss said.

Two recent rounds of AAN’s TV ads and robocalls were aimed at skeptical conservatives, primarily members of the House Freedom Caucus, who said they will vote against the bill in its current form because they don't think it goes far enough to fully repeal the 2010 law.

But the latest round of ads target 29 House members who mostly represent districts expected to be competitive in the 2018 midterm elections. Some lawmakers on the list have said they oppose the legislation, such as Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.), or who have expressed concerns, such as Reps. Darrell Issa (Calif.) and Leonard Lance (N.J.).

The ads will also air in a handful of districts represented by members of leadership, including Ryan, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin BradyTax reform an important part of pro-consumer energy policy GOP torn over what to do next Republicans vote to block resolutions on Trump's tax returns MORE (Texas).