For months Democratic candidates have worked hard against health care, while Republicans have said little about it. As a sign of the strength of the issue, Republicans are now playing defense and releasing a wave of ads promising to protect Americans with pre-existing health conditions.
The ads disregard the fact that safeguards were a central feature of the Affordable Care Act and that the Republican Party has been working ceaselessly to repeal the law through laws and lawsuits.
Republicans in Congress have recently put forward limited legislative proposals to ensure the protection of certain preconditions if the Health Act is repealed. One, a House resolution, would have no legal force, even if accepted. The other would have a significant gap: insurers would have to cover those with pre-existing diseases, but they would not have to take care of these specific diseases . (Neither is on track to become law.)
As with some Democratic ads, several ads by Republicans feature family members with health problems. Some react directly to the criticism of a democratic rival. Many cited votes for republican bills that overtook large parts of Obamacare in the past year – the same voices Democrats used as proof that Republicans want to restrict health insurance.
The protection of pre-existing conditions is popular, and polls suggest that voters trust Democrats more than Republicans in health care. A few months ago, Republican candidates were happy to send their messages to other places – the economy or immigration policy. They now defend themselves on less friendly territory.
Here are a few of this new crop of G.O.P. Ads and some context.
The Republican candidate: Josh Hawley, Missouri Attorney General, challenges the incumbent, Senator Claire McCaskill, to
The Ad : A Short Shot by Mr. Hawley Talking Into The Camera is cut with pictures from a field in which play family and children with colorful soccer balls. Mr. Hawley describes how one of his "two perfect little boys" has a rare disease that would be considered a previous illness. "We know what that is like," he says, before saying he "forces insurance companies" to cover existing illnesses. The boy kicks a ball across the field.
The Strategy: Mr. Hawley is among a group of officials from 20 states who have filed a lawsuit against the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. If the lawsuit is successful, the entire law, including its guarantees of affordable coverage for Americans with previous illnesses, could be eradicated. (The Trump administration has argued in court that most of the law should apply, but the protection of existing conditions should be invalidated. ) Ms. McCaskill has used Mr. Hawley's participation in the lawsuit as a key line of attack in her campaign and has highlighted her personal experience with breast cancer.
Mr. Hawley says he supports protection for those with pre-existing conditions, but it's not clear if the policies he supports would provide the same protective measures that people like his son enjoy right now. If his lawsuit overruled the entire health bill, it would put the country back in time when people with previous illnesses sometimes could not buy cover. Republicans could pass a law restoring Obamacare's consumer protection, but Mr. Hawley has not yet explicitly endorsed such a strategy.
In an interview, Mr. Hawley said this summer he supports unspecified policies to protect such customers and allow young adults to stay on their parent's health plans. "We can do these things apart from the structure of Obamacare," he said, recommending a less stringent insurance policy.
Last year's republican bill provided protection for people who remained insured without interruption. But they would have allowed insurance companies in some states to avoid certain types of medical treatment, or sicker customers who had failed to cover higher prices.
The Republican Candidate: Dana Rohrabacher is an acting congressman from California's 48th district who has served in the House of Representatives since 1989. He is very challenged by a lawyer and real estate entrepreneur Harley Rouda in
The ad: Mr. Rohrabacher stands beside his wife while his daughter Annika sits on a swing. Mr. Rohrabacher explains why health care is "personal" to his family: "When my daughter Annika was 8 years old, she suffered from leukemia and it was devastating for my family, but she went through it." Annika's photos in the hospital bed and in the hospital Wheelchair replaced with video taken by the Rohrabacher family on the beach (Mr. Rohrabacher wears a diving suit and wears a surfboard
"So I pick up both parties and fight for those who have been in conditions before," he says, shaking his fist. After Mr. Rohrabacher says he supports the ad, Annika adds, "And me too."  The Strategy : Mr. Rohrabacher really has a novel strategy to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions, which are in conflict with the prevailing approaches of both parties, his proposal declared in a commentary this summer, w would allow commercial plans to avoid pre-existing diseases but allow affected patients to receive Medicare coverage for those complaints alone. The ad throws Mr. Rohrabacher as a creative and nonpartisan lawmaker, with a personal interest in health care, rather than one who follows Republican leaders.
But when it came to more realistic elections for the management of health Englisch: bio-pro.de/en/region/freiburg/magaz…2/index.html also voted for the American Health Act, a law that would have turned large parts of Obamacare upside down. The bill would have made major cuts to the Medicaid program, which includes many American children, and mitigated the protection for patients with pre-existing conditions in states that had renounced Obamacare's usual rules. His unusual proposal seems to combine his support for this law with his commitment to both Americans and his daughter. But his commitment is an inappropriate match with his legislation.
The Republican candidate: Dean Heller, a Republican Senator from Nevada, is in a close race for re-election against Jacky Rosen, a congressman from the state's third district
The ad : To understand this advertisement, you must have almost seen Ms. Rosen's attack message against Mr. Heller comparing it to an inflatable tube man, spineless and limp, as it describes his shift positions on last year's Obamacare suspension statement.
Mr. Heller's ad shows the tube man waving on a screen next to a television camera and a director's chair with the inscription ROSES. "Jacky Rose's idea to improve health care: a commercial for the campaign," says Mr. Heller as the camera zooms. Mr Heller criticizes Ms. Rosen for failing to advance health legislation and said, "I fight to protect the existing conditions and increase funding for the Nevadans they most need." Jacky, I am stapling my file every day against yours. "The commercial concludes with another shot of Röhrenmanns.
The Strategy: Mr. Heller was in a difficult position when Republicans picked up bills came to the Senate last year. The Republican leadership really needed his voice to push for a bill and he had promised to pick up Obamacare as a candidate. But Nevada's governor opposed legislation and said it would hurt the state. First, Mr Heller opposed the bill of the Senate. In the end, he voted for a stricter plan that would retain existing protections and eliminate other important parts of Obamacare. (He also noted his support for a bill that would have replaced Obamacare's insurance markets with a block grant program for states that would allow them to remove existing safeguards.)
It is true that Lord Brighter has advanced more pieces of health legislation in the last Congress than its opponent. He was, after all, part of the Republican majority that controlled the legislative agenda. But none of the health statements cited by Mr. Heller in his ad has become law, and it is questionable whether their effects would be consistent with his allegations in the ad. These are the same bills and votes that Mrs. Rosen has cited as proof that Mr. Heller would defer health insurance. The reference to Mrs. Rosen's ad indicates that voters were memorable enough to earn an answer.
The Republican candidate: North Dakota Congressman Kevin Cramer runs to drop a Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp] The ad: There are cows. "Come on, Heidi, the word is out," says the narrator of the ad, citing messages examining aspects of Mrs. Heitkamp's ads criticizing Mr. Cramer's health record. "It's a rush," the voice says as cows trot across the screen, pursued by a lassoed cowboy. (Side note: Is this a mass panic?) The narrator explains that "Kevin Cramer has voted for guaranteed coverage for pre-existing conditions." Mrs. Heitkamp's health messages, the narrator says: "Do not pass the smell test." Then A Cow Loo
The Strategy: Like Mr. Heller, Mr. Cramer tries to characterize his votes to lift Obamacare's efforts to protect his pre-existing conditions – and he responds to the Democrats' ads that are causing the problem highlight. This claim is greater for Mr. Cramer than for Mr. Heller, despite some disagreements with details of Mrs. Heitkamp's ads. Mr. Cramer agreed to support the American Health Care Act, a law that would allow states to weaken protection for Americans with pre-existing conditions. If the bill had become law, North Dakota would have been able to retain the rules of Obamacare, but that is different than "guaranteed coverage."
Mr. Cramer also recently sponsored a non-binding house resolution arguing that existing health protection should be included in future health care bills. This suggests that Mr. Cramer is dealing with the problem, but that is different than a guarantee.