New Ohio ad campaign asks conservatives to support Medicaid funding


COLUMBUS, Ohio–A national healthcare group is launching a seven-figure ad campaign in Ohio and other states this week that, unusually, appeals to conservatives to preserve Medicaid funding.

The Association for Community Affiliated Plans announced it plans to start airing 30-second cable TV ads in Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati starting Tuesday through July 11. The group, which represents Medicaid-managed health plans for the poor and other public health programs, also will run online ads statewide asking Ohioans to urge Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman not to cut Medicaid.

The TV ad highlights how Medicaid allows many people to remain at work. “Cutting Medicaid will put millions of jobs at risk,” the ad’s announcer intones.

Christian Hertenstein, a spokesman for the association, stated in an email that the ad campaign is meant to persuade right-leaning voters that Medicaid isn’t just a welfare program.

“We’re trying to persuade those voters that Medicaid is a support that helps people make the most of the opportunities life affords them,” Hertenstein stated. “And we want to do so in a way that appeals to their sense of reason.”

Hertenstein said his group plans to run similar ads in Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana and Nevada – all states that, like Ohio, have expanded Medicaid and have Republican senators set to vote on Senate GOP leaders’ healthcare reform plan that, if enacted, would make major cuts to Medicaid

Portman has expressed “real concerns” with how the Senate GOP’s plan affects Medicaid, though he hasn’t yet said whether he’ll support the bill. 

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