Heller hits back at opponent in new ad, trying to blunt health care attacks

Heller hits back at opponent in new ad, trying to blunt health care attacks
© Getty Images

Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerTrump to fundraise for Heller, Tarkanian in Nevada The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh and his accuser will testify publicly Poll: Dean Heller running even against Democratic challenger MORE (R-Nev.) is hitting back on criticisms his opponent, Rep. Jacky RosenJacklyn (Jacky) Sheryl RosenTrump to fundraise for Heller, Tarkanian in Nevada The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh and his accuser will testify publicly Overnight Health Care: Opioid legislation passes overwhelmingly | DOJ backs Cigna-Express Scripts merger | Senate passes ban on pharmacy gag clauses MORE (D-Nev.), has made on his health-care record, trying to blunt a major line of attack against him ahead of November's midterms.

Heller launched a new ad on Tuesday that seeks to counter an ad from Rosen last month that called him "Senator Spineless" and featured an inflatable figure waving in the wind.

Heller’s ad features him standing in front of the same inflatable figure, where he states, “Jacky Rosen's idea of fixing health care? A campaign commercial. The truth is, in her two years in Congress, Jacky Rosen has done nothing to fix health care. Nothing. Zero.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Democrats across the country, and in Nevada in particular, have gone on offense in this year’s midterm campaign, attacking Republicans for their attempts last year to repeal ObamaCare and for their party’s lawsuit that could invalidate protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

The Nevada Senate fight is one of a handful of key races that could determine control of the chamber.

Rosen’s ad last month hit Heller for initially opposing GOP ObamaCare repeal efforts last year at a high-profile press conference alongside the state’s GOP governor, Brian Sandoval, before later sponsoring an ObamaCare repeal and replacement bill of his own, called Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson.

Heller argues in his new ad that he is “fighting to protect pre-existing conditions.”

He cites a bill he cosponsored last month with other GOP senators to enshrine ObamaCare protections against people with pre-existing conditions getting charged more or denied coverage into law, in case the Republican lawsuit against ObamaCare succeeds.

However, Larry Levitt, a health policy expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation, said that the GOP bill would still allow insurers to exclude coverage of pre-existing conditions altogether, making the protections in the measure “something of a mirage.”

In addition, the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson ObamaCare repeal and replacement bill that Heller backed also took fire last year for its provisions on pre-existing conditions. That measure would have allowed states to waive ObamaCare’s protections against people with pre-existing conditions being charged higher premiums.

Dick Woodruff, vice president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, said last year that he was “extremely worried” about the bill’s effect on cancer patients.

Heller says in the ad that voters should compare his record to Rosen’s because “actions speak louder than whatever that is,” gesturing to the inflatable figure.

Rosen’s campaign said it is false to say that Rosen has not proposed actions on health care, noting she introduced measures to cap out of pocket prescription drug costs and to authorize the House counsel to intervene to defend ObamaCare in court against the GOP lawsuit.

“Dean Heller can’t defend his broken promises and failed record on health care, so he's running a new TV ad filled with outright lies about his own record and false attacks on Jacky Rosen,” said Rosen spokeswoman Molly Forgey.