Healthcare has not been at the forefront of Iowa's tightly contested Senate race between Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley and Republican state Sen. Joni Ernst. But last week, the National Republican Senatorial Committee started running an ad attacking Braley on Medicare as part of a $3.3 million advertising buy in the state.
“Bruce Braley voted to cut $700 billion from Medicare to support Obamacare,” Darlene Blake, a senior citizen living in Des Moines, says in the spot. “That's just not fair. We paid in. We paid for it. That should be there for us. It's hurting a lot of people.”
The charge of slashing $700 billion from Medicare has become a staple of Republican attack ads since passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The NRSC is running similar ads in Georgia charging that Medicare cuts are part of Democratic challenger Michelle Nunn's “liberal agenda.” Crossroads GPS, a conservative independent expenditure group, recently released an ad pillorying Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), who is among the most endangered incumbents in the country, for Medicare cuts. And former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie, who's waging a long-shot bid to take out Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), also lobbed the Medicare cuts charge in a recent campaign e-mail explaining why he opposes the ACA.