$1 billion to be spent on ‘Obamacare’ TV ads; most are negative: report

Dylan Stableford
Yahoo! News

If you watch even a tiny amount of television in the next 18 months, there's a good chance you'll see an ad attacking "Obamacare."

According to Kantar Media's Campaign Media Analysis Group, more than $500 million has been spent on advertising surrounding the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) with $500 million more expected by early 2015.

And most of the ads have been negative. According to CMAG, critics of the law have outspent supporters by an estimated 5-1 margin since 2009, when spots about the Obama administration's health care reform first aired.

"Swipes at 'Obamacare' pervaded Republican election ads in 2010 and 2012 races from president and Congress, to governor and state attorney general, on down to local offices with no real role in its fate," CMAG said in a note to clients. "Just last month, we captured a TV ad by the Republican state legislative campaign committee in Kentucky attacking a 2013 Democratic candidate for supporting Obamacare."

On Monday, Americans for Prosperity, the conservative advocacy group funded by the billionaire Koch brothers, announced a million-dollar local TV ad blitz aimed at "undermining confidence in the law."

"If I can't pick my own doctor," a woman asks in one of the ads, slated to air in Ohio and Virginia, "how do I know my family is gonna get the care they need?"

The estimated $1 billion figure would rival the $1.3 billion spent on TV ads during the 2012 presidential campaign. According to CMAG, $1.1 billion was spent ahead of Obama's election victory over Mitt Romney, not including $200 million in local cable advertising.

And with 2014's mid-term elections looming, CMAG expects ad spending on "Obamacare" to top $1 billion before the law's fifth birthday.