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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

And Here We Go: Attack Ad Cites Health Care Vote

Republican businessman Scott Sipprelle, who is running to unseat Democratic Rep. Rush Holt of New Jersey this fall, has launched one of the first TV ads attacking an incumbent on the recent health care vote.

In the 30-second spot, which is also the first TV ad of his campaign, Sipprelle says, "Rush Holt and Nancy Pelosi ignored you" and supported a "trillion dollar health care bill [that] creates a massive new federal bureaucracy that will hurt the quality of care and saddle us with more debt and higher taxes." The ad urges voters to "hold Rush Holt accountable" come November.

It is Sipprelle’s opinion that the health care bill (now law) will hurt Americans’ quality of care, and he’s entitled to state it. But "more debt"? That’s not the case, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The CBO said that the House-passed Senate bill, combined with a set of House-passed modifications, will actually reduce the deficit by a net $143 billion over the next 10 years ($19 billion in reductions come from student-loan provisions that are part of the still-pending modifications). And though the new law does impose some taxes to help fund the expansion of health care — including higher Medicare taxes on individuals earning more than $200,000 a year and couples making more than $250,000, plus taxes on high-cost health insurance plans, manufacturers of pharmaceuticals and certain medical devices, and individuals who don’t purchase qualifying health coverage — not everyone will be subject to these tax measures, as the ad suggests.

Sipprelle’s ad is just the beginning of what is expected to be an onslaught of advertising focusing on the health care vote in this year’s congressional races.