Updated: 05/16/2013 9:45 PM KSTP.com By: Leslie Dyste
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann quickly launched a campaign-style television ad Thursday in hopes of capitalizing on the latest U.S. House vote to undo President Barack Obama's health care law.
The Republican critic of the Affordable Care Act - dubbed Obamacare by foes - was to begin airing the ad Thursday night in Twin Cities market. She spent about $85,000 for the TV spot.
It shows her speaking directly into the camera, spreading what she calls "great news" about the vote. Bachmann sponsored the measure the House adopted on a 229-195 vote; it has little chance of winning Senate approval.
"Obamacare promised us lower cost and a better health care system. But the truth is just the opposite. Unaffordable, skyrocketing insurance costs and a system so complicated, well, even Democrats are calling it a train wreck," Bachmann says in the ad. "Passing my bill to repeal Obamacare is just the first step toward lower costs and improved health care."
The health law was enacted in 2010, but key portions of it are only now being implemented. Starting this fall, uninsured people who can't get coverage through their jobs will be able to sign up for government-subsidized insurance that takes effect Jan. 1.
Since assuming House control in 2011, Republicans have voted 37 times to eliminate or otherwise hinder the law, actions the Democratic-controlled Senate has ignored. A legal challenge to the law resulted in the Supreme Court upholding it.
But Bachmann has consistently made it a rallying cry to her conservative base. She was in the speaker's chair - gavel in hand - when the vote was announced.
It is unusual for congressional candidates to air ads almost 17 months prior to an election. Bachmann is coupling the ad with a special Web page, which could help the prolific campaign fundraiser draw in donations off the vote.
Bachmann narrowly won a fourth term over Democrat Jim Graves, a hotel chain founder who is running again in 2014. Bachmann has yet to say whether she will run again but is raising money to facilitate a possible campaign.
All three Minnesota Republicans voted for the repeal.
Rep. Betty McCollum, one of the five Minnesota Democrats in Congress to oppose the move, said the action was a waste of time.
"The Republican obsession with Obamacare has become an addiction to empty gestures and meaningless floor votes to repeal, defund and dismantle health benefits for tens of millions of Americans," McCollum said.
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