Democrats planned an all-out blitz on Thursday to push the healthcare reform bill to seniors.
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) will coordinate a series of activities throughout the day to promote the benefits of President Barack Obama's signature legislative accomplishment, especially to seniors.
Foremost of the efforts will be a new 60-second ad on national cable to promote the healthcare reform law that Democrats in Congress passed in March, to highlight benefits in the legislation threatened by GOP efforts to repeal the legislation.
"Oh how the worm has turned," said DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse. "A majority of Americans want to give the law a chance, benefits are rolling to young people, seniors and small businesses, and in the only race — general-election-style race — so far where the Republican ran on repeal, the special in PA12, he lost … overwhelmingly."
The push comes on the heels of an effort kicked off by Obama earlier this week to target seniors in particular on healthcare. In a tele-town hall with seniors on Tuesday, the president highlighted a number of benefits in the new law, particularly a $250 rebate seniors will receive to help cover the "doughnut hole" in the prescription drug benefit.
To that end, DNC Chairman Tim Kaine will hold a call on Thursday morning with advocates on behalf of seniors to promote the $250 benefit and other benefits to older Americans in the bill.
Democrats will also look to spread the wealth: state chapters of Obama's political arm, Organizing for America, will hold events to promote the benefits of the legislation to seniors. The DNC will also the blanket the districts of 52 House Republicans, highlighting their opposition to healthcare reform and their desire to repeal the legislation.
"The American people have rejected Washington Democrats’ job-killing government takeover of healthcare, which raises costs and weakens Medicare. Republicans are standing with them, and fighting to repeal it and replace it with commonsense, step-by-step reforms to lower costs," responded Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio).
House Democrats also said they would add their own component to the blitz to tout their healthcare bill's benefits for seniors.
"Expect to see and hear House Democrats tout the early start of checks being issued to close the GOP-created donut hole. This is another immediate benefit of health reform that Republicans will have to defend wanting to repeal," said a Democratic leadership aide. "Throughout the day, Dems will be doing a variety of events and activities to highlight this important victory for seniors."
"It is also a reminder that when House Republicans were in power they twisted arms and cut deals to pass an unpaid-for $400 billion prescription drug plan that added to the deficit. Republicans have an agenda for seniors — keeping open the donut hole, dismantling Medicare, and making it harder for seniors to have access to the doctors they know and trust. Not to mention privatizing Social Security," the aide added. "We will be highlighting this record from now until November."
The Republican National Committee (RNC) also chided the effort.
“How do you know ObamaCare is unpopular with voters? When worried Democrats are still trying to sell it months after the vote," said RNC spokeswoman Katie Wright. "No media blitz will change the fact that Democrats ignored their constituents and voted for a bill that grows the deficit and endangers Medicare. As we saw at town halls last summer, Americans didn’t want ObamaCare, they don’t like it now and they won’t like it when they vote in November.”
Updated at 11:45 a.m. and 1:24 p.m.