A powerful business lobby bankrolled by health insurance and pharmaceutical companies is running advertisements attacking Democrats for their support of the Affordable Care Act.
Pharmaceutical companies, like Merck and Eli Lilly, and insurance companies, including Aetna, Cigna, Humana, UnitedHealth and Wellpoint, all donated money — to the tune of at least $100 million — to the Chamber of Commerce. Those donations are now being used for election advertising to try to take down Democrats who supported the Affordable Care Act:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will air new ads hitting five Democratic Senate candidates and incumbents, ABC’s Chris Good reports. Targeting votes on health care, energy, and regulations, the Chamber will go after Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, Rep. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Rep. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin. Last week, the Chamber aired ads in New Mexico, Hawaii, Nevada, and North Dakota. In Montana, for example, the ad says, “For Jon Tester, there’s no hiding from the truth. He sided with Washington time and time again. Take the health care law. The people didn’t want it, yet Senator Tester cast a deciding vote, forcing it on Montana…”
The Chamber has been known for some shady advertising tactics in the past; the Denver Post determined that one of their ads on health care “leans deceptive.” The group’s practices are so questionable, in fact, that New York’s attorney general is investigating them for illegal funding practices.
This post has been updated to reflect that Kaiser Foundation Health Plans did not donate any money to the Chamber of Commerce, and has not given any money outside of its yearly dues to AHIP.