WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Super PAC supporting Republican Marco Rubio will tout the White House hopeful’s fight against President Barack Obama’s healthcare law in an advertisement set to run in Iowa and New Hampshire starting on Tuesday, a source familiar with the plan said.
“On Obamacare, some Republicans gave up. Some talked tough but got nowhere,” an announcer says in the ad, which was viewed by Reuters. Rubio’s push in the U.S. Senate against an obscure provision of Obamacare will “all but kill” the 2010 law, the ad says, quoting conservative media praise of him.
“No wonder he’s the one Hillary is afraid to run against,” the ad says, referring to Hillary Clinton, the front-runner to be the Democratic nominee in the November 2016 election.
Rubio has highlighted his effort to prevent what he called a potential taxpayer bailout of insurers, arguing he is the only one of the pack of Republicans seeking the White House to score a victory over the Affordable Care Act, which is wildly unpopular with conservatives.
The ad by Conservative Solutions PAC, titled “Some Republicans,” will run statewide in Iowa and New Hampshire, said the source familiar with the ad buy. The states are the first to cast votes in the months-long process to pick the Republican nominee for the 2016 election.
Super PACs can raise unlimited funds to advocate for candidates as long as they do not coordinate directly with them.
The ad does not mention any of Rubio’s Republican opponents by name. But U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a chief rival of the Florida senator for the Republican nomination, has fashioned himself as a leading critic of the health law, pointing to his role in a 2013 battle in Congress that led to a government shutdown.
Congressional Republicans have voted many times to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which required Americans to have insurance or pay a penalty. Those attempts have so far not been successful.
Rubio has sought to show himself as more effective than the other Republicans on healthcare. In 2014, he helped push through legislation restricting funding to support insurers offering plans through online exchanges where consumers can compare and purchase insurance.
Some nonprofit insurers that expected to recoup losses failed after that “risk corridors” funding was cut back. Rubio said he saved taxpayers $2.5 billion, though some experts disputed his assertion that the program was a bailout of insurers.
Reporting by Emily Stephenson; Editing by Frances Kerry