New TV ads target Senate Republicans over health care

Spots focus on "deciding votes"

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democratic groups are ratcheting up pressure on Senate Republicans over their effort to vote on a major health care measure before Congress leaves town for the July 4 recess.

New television and digital ads launching Friday target Nevada Sen. Dean Heller -- the Republican who is likely in the most danger of losing his seat in the 2018 midterms -- as well as Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Maine Sen. Susan Collins and West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, three GOP lawmakers seen as potentially hesitant to back a plan that could reduce coverage.

The ads, a seven-figure buy by Save My Care, a group that has served as an umbrella for much of the Democratic effort to preserve the Affordable Care Act and oppose the GOP repeal-and-replace bid, cast the Republican senators as "a deciding vote."

"Heller decides whether your costs go up by double digits," a narrator says in the Nevada ad. "Whether you're one of the 138,000 who lose coverage. Whether Medicaid is gutted, putting disabled children at risk. Heller decides whether our rural communities suffer."

CNN has reached out to the senators targeted in the ads for comment.

The new 30-second spots come on top of new ads on rural radio stations from Save My Care targeting the same senators, as well as an 11-state ad buy that the AARP announced this week targeting Senate Republicans.

The new pressure comes after President Donald Trump told Senate Republicans in a private White House meeting that the House GOP-passed health care bill was "mean" and needed to be backed by more money. Democrats have howled that the bill would reduce access to affordable coverage and undercut Obamacare's protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

Senate Republicans have been crafting their own health care bill behind closed doors since the House approved its version. But under Senate rules, the bill must save $133 billion -- the exact same as the House measure -- which leaves Trump and Senate Republicans with little flexibility on spending.


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