WASHINGTON — Sen. Mary Landrieu launched her first television advertisement for her 2014 re-election campaign on Wednesday to tout her “Keeping the Affordable Care Act Promise” bill.
The $250,000 ad buy will air in the Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Alexandria, Shreveport and Monroe markets.
Landrieu, D-La., filed the legislation last month after it was determined that the Affordable Care Act was leading to insurance companies canceling millions of individual insurance plans, including nearly 93,000 in Louisiana, for failing to meeting the health care law’s minimum coverage standards and for not meeting the requirements of the law’s grandfathered clause.
President Barack Obama had promised that people would be able to keep their insurance plans if they liked them, and Landrieu previously supported that assertion.
Landrieu’s bill would require that insurance companies continue offering the plans that are being canceled. However, it is unlikely the Senate leadership will ever allow a vote on her bill.
Still, after facing pressure from Democrats, Obama announced a “fix” last month that would allow insurance companies to continue offering health insurance plans to customers next year that were in the process of being discontinued. The difference is that Obama’s tweak allows, but does not require, insurance companies to keep offering the plans through 2014, while Landrieu’s bill is a mandate.
Landrieu’s new “Keeping the Promise” ad touts her legislative push and concludes, “The Result: People now allowed to keep health care plans.”
Landrieu’s campaign manager, Adam Sullivan, said she is working to ensure Obama’s promise is kept and that she “will continue her legislative efforts to fix and improve the Affordable Care Act.”
Landrieu, a third-term senator, is a critical target of a Republican Party that is eager to retake control of the Senate after the 2014 midterm elections.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee quickly responded Wednesday that Landrieu’s ad is “the most disingenuous television ad of the year.” The NRSC asserts that Obama and Landrieu knew years in advance that the health plan cancellations were coming and only acted at the last minute for political grandstanding.
“How can Louisianians trust anything Mary Landrieu says after she’s repeatedly deceived them about Obamacare for the last four years and continues to do so today?” NRSC Press Secretary Brook Hougesen said.
Landrieu is outpacing her top opponent, Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, in fundraising thus far. But third-party, private groups like Americans for Prosperity and the Judicial Crisis Network have already aggressively attacked Landrieu on the airwaves in recent weeks, especially over her support for the Affordable Care Act.
The only other person in the race who has filed candidacy paperwork thus far is retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness, a Republican from Madisonville.
Cassidy also criticized the ad.
“Her recent TV ad is simply misleading: to the many Louisianans who have had their current policies canceled and to every other American, who simply know better from reading the news,” Cassidy stated.
“More than 90,000 Louisianans are living through Obamacare’s top-down decision to cancel policies. Uncertainty in their health care choices is their best-case scenario and that is a direct result of Obamacare, which she supports.”
Cassidy supports a full repeal of “Obamacare.”
As for the president’s “fix” to the insurance plan cancellations, John Maginnis, a spokesman for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, said customers have received letter informing them of their options to keep the plans for another year. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana held a majority of the nearly 93,000 plans that were being canceled.
Maginnis said numbers were unavailable.
, but that “anecdotally” some policyholders have expressed interest in keeping the plans that were being discontinued.