National Democrats hitting Barr on efforts to repeal Affordable Care Act

12/18/2013 02:35 PM

Kentucky Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Barr of Lexington is one of the targets of a new ad campaign from national Democrats who are trying to put incumbent GOP congressmen on the defensive for repeatedly voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched web ads Tuesday aimed at Republican congressmen in competitive re-election races — including Barr — on the effect their attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act would have on their constituents.

The DCCC is also launching a website, FacesOfRepeal.com , in which Kentuckians and other Americans can share their stories of how the repeal of Obamacare would hurt them.

So far, the site features only one story from a Kentuckian. He hails from Vanceburg, the hometown of another Republican congressman, Thomas Massie. The DCCC does not have an ad against Massie.

The DCCC criticized Barr and other Republicans for attempting to repeal the law multiple times but not offering any solution to fix the problems the people in the health care system.

“For every statistic, there are millions of seniors who are saving thousands on prescription drugs, countless Americans who won’t face bankruptcy because of health care, and millions of sick kids who are guaranteed coverage – and those are the people who Congressman Barr is hurting with his obsessive repeal efforts,” said Emily Bittner of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Barr’s office dismissed the ad as a partisan attack.

“Andy Barr is focused on doing the job he was elected to do for the people of the sixth district of Kentucky and not on partisan, negative political attack ads from Washington,” Barr spokeswoman Catherine Gatewood said in a statement to Pure Politics.

Democrats in Kentucky are banking on the Affordable Care Act being a net positive issue for them in the 2014 elections largely because Kentucky’s rollout of its health exchange has been relatively smooth and held up as a national model.

The most recent numbers for Kentucky’s health exchange, Kynect.gov, show 84,422 Kentuckians have enrolled in new health coverage, including Medicaid and private insurance as of Tuesday.

Fayette county, the largest county in Barr’s district which includes Lexington, has only signed up a total of 4,782 individuals. That is very low compared to Jefferson county—or Louisville—which has seen 13,401 new enrollees.

The only Democrat to file to run against Barr in 2014 so far is Elisabeth Jensen. Jensen was not one of the DCCC’s ‘Jumpstart candidates’ of 2014 , a list of candidates the group is promoting.

Jacqueline Pitts

Jacqueline Pitts joined the cn|2 political team in June 2012. A graduate of WKU, Jacqueline grew up in Nashville, TN and is looking forward to having a front row seat to Kentucky politics. Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @Jacqueline_cn2. She can be reached at 502-792-1114 or jacqueline.pitts@twcnews.com.

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