We are now going to have the campaign over Obamacare that we would have had during the 2012 election if anyone but Mitt Romney had been the Republican nominee. Because Obamacare was modeled on health care reform that Romney passed as governor of Massachusetts — individual mandate and all — the presidential campaign wasn't focused on the most controversial legislation of President Obama's first term. In the months before major parts of the law finally kick in, we're going to have that fight. With campaign ads in swing states and everything.
First, the ads we usually see in an election year: The Koch brothers-funded group Americans for Prosperity is spending $1 million on TV ads in states like Ohio and Virginia saying Obamacare will mean people will have fewer choices in their own health care, The New York Times reports. Organizing for Action — the advocacy group Obama's 2012 campaign was converted into — will counter with TV ads saying Obamacare is great. (Both ad campaigns feature moms.) Oregon will air ads for its state health exchanges featuring twee guitar-playing youth and stay-at-home dads in scenes that "could have been pulled straight out of Portlandia," The Washington Post reports. (Healthy young people are the group the government most needs to convince to sign up for insurance, which might explain the tone of the ads.) Oregon is spending $2.9 million on Obamacare outreach.