Backed by Pataki, conservative group launches campaign ad attacking supporters of healthcare reform

Backed by former New York Gov. George Pataki (R), a conservative advocacy group on Wednesday unveiled a campaign ad attacking Democratic supporters of the new healthcare reform law.

Revere America, a Washington-based nonprofit named after the 18th-century Boston patriot, will spend more than $1 million targeting roughly a dozen Democrats from conservative-leaning districts who voted in favor of the law. 

Pataki on Wednesday declined to reveal which lawmakers the group will go after, but he was hardly reluctant to specify the group's underlying goal: repeal of healthcare reform. 

"It's a bad law," Pataki told reporters at Washington's Press Club. "The American people know it's a bad law, and we're going to remind them."

The ad itself leaves little to the imagination.

"Your congressman voted for ObamaCare — government-run healthcare," the narrator says, with an ominous piano tinkling in the background. "It's a bad plan. Government bureaucrats will benefit. Seniors will get hurt. Costs will go up. Care will go down. 

"It's a plan we didn't want and don't need, but he voted for it anyway," the ad says. "Defeat your congressman."

The campaign ads will begin airing within a few weeks.

Echoing the call from Capitol Hill Republicans, Pataki on Wednesday said the group hopes to repeal certain elements of the the law and replace them with more market-friendly reforms. Conservatives, for instance, want to rein in medical malpractice claims, promote the shift to personal health savings accounts and allow insurance companies to sell policies across state lines, he said.

Not that they would try to repeal the entire law, Pataki said. Many of the central insurance reforms — including provisions preventing insurance companies from dropping coverage when patients get sick or excluding coverage for pre-existing conditions — should remain, he said.

"These are good reforms," Pataki said. "Not everything in ObamaCare is bad."

Hindering the push for repeal, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) last month estimated that repealing some of the more controversial spending cuts under the healthcare reform law would add $455 billion to the deficit over the next decade. 

Asked Wednesday if the CBO score would make it more difficult, politically, for Revere America to sell its message to voters, Pataki ducked the question. Instead, he accused Democrats of using misleading strategies to mold their own CBO numbers, which projected the savings under the new law to be roughly $140 billion over 10 years.