Group launches seven-figure ad buy boosting vulnerable Democrats on drug prices

Group launches seven-figure ad buy boosting vulnerable Democrats on drug prices
© iStock

A Democratic group is launching $2 million in new digital ads highlighting vulnerable House Democrats’ efforts to lower drug prices. 

The ads from the group Protect Our Care illustrate how Democrats are seeking to keep their momentum going on health care after they focused on the issue in winning back the House last year.

The ad buy shows that even as the impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders says he wouldn't 'drop dead' if Trump decided on universal healthcare Overnight Health Care: Trump officials lay groundwork for May reopening | Democrats ramp up talks with Mnuchin on next relief deal | Fauci says death toll could be around 60,000 Hillicon Valley: State officials push for more election funds | Coronavirus surveillance concerns ramp up pressure for privacy bill | Senators warned not to use Zoom | Agencies ask FCC to revoke China Telecom's license MORE gains focus, Democrats are still trying to focus on kitchen-table issues like lowering drug prices. 

The new spending will bring the ads to 10 new districts of House freshmen, on top of the 10 districts that were part of an earlier $2 million buy in September focused on pre-existing conditions. 

“Rep. Elissa SlotkinElissa SlotkinDemocrats struggle to keep up with Trump messaging on coronavirus States see surge of scams, price-gouging tied to pandemic Juan Williams: Biden's promises on women are a big deal MORE is standing up to big drug companies,” the narrator in the ad for Slotkin, a Michigan Democrat, states. “She’s fighting to give Medicare the power to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices, reducing your costs by as much as 55 percent.”

“Thank her for leading the fight to lower your drug prices,” it adds.

The 10 new districts in the campaign are those of Democratic Reps. Angie Craig (Minn.), Sharice DavidsSharice DavidsConservative women's group unveils new congressional endorsements Here are the lawmakers who have self-quarantined as a precaution Hillicon Valley: US hits Huawei with new charges | Judge orders Pentagon to halt 'war cloud' work amid Amazon challenge | IRS removes guidance on Fortnite game currency MORE (Kan.), Antonio DelgadoAntonio Ramon DelgadoHispanic Caucus campaign arm unveils non-Hispanic endorsements M ad buy praises swing-district Democrats' environmental work Democrats plot new approach to win over rural voters MORE (N.Y.), Lizzie Fletcher (Texas), Jared Golden (Maine), Susie LeeSuzanne (Susie) Kelley LeeMORE (Nev.), Elaine LuriaElaine Goodman LuriaOvernight Defense: Navy chief resigns over aircraft carrier controversy | Trump replaces Pentagon IG | Hospital ship crew member tests positive for coronavirus Navy chief resigns amid uproar over handling of aircraft carrier coronavirus crisis Tammy Duckworth calls on acting Navy secretary to resign MORE (Va.), Lucy McBathLucia (Lucy) Kay McBathBrady PAC endorses Biden, plans to spend million in 2020 Biden rolls out over a dozen congressional endorsements after latest primary wins Warren endorsed by Black Lives Matter co-founder's Black to the Future Action Fund MORE (Ga.), Chris PappasChristopher (Chris) Charles PappasAmerica needs a transformative transportation bill: It will take walking and biking to get there New Hampshire Rep. Kuster endorses Buttigieg Making waves to protect America's waters MORE (N.H.) and Susan WildSusan WildDemocratic congresswomen wear white to Trump's address in honor of suffrage movement Democrats gear up for State of the Union protests as impeachment lingers Giffords gun reform group backs eight 'strong women' in House reelection bids MORE (Pa.), all of whom face potentially tough reelection races next year. 

House Democrats are planning to vote next month on their signature legislation to lower drug prices, known as H.R. 3, which would empower the secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate lower prices for up to 250 drugs per year. 

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi calls for investigation into reports of mistreatment of pregnant women in DHS custody Wisconsin highlights why states need a bipartisan plan that doesn't include Democrats federalizing elections Pelosi defends push for mail-in voting: GOP 'afraid' to let people vote MORE’s (D-Calif.) office has expressed hope that Trump would back the legislation, given his support for Medicare negotiating drug prices during the 2016 campaign. But Trump backed off that support in office, and the White House has recently criticized Pelosi’s bill, in favor of a somewhat more modest bipartisan measure to lower drug prices in the Senate. 

Republicans warn Pelosi’s bill would hinder the development of new cures. 

“We don’t see that happening,” Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach said of GOP support for the bill.

“Every statement from the president is that he opposes it,” he added. 

Campaigning on the issue could still prove effective for Democrats given the priority the public places on lowering drug prices. 

Dach said the ads are to “be sure [House Democrats] get thanked and be sure their constituents know they’re doing it.”