The Mary Landrieu-AFP Fight Gets Louder

This week, Americans For Prosperity is back with another ad beating up Mary Landrieu for her Obamacare vote. Only this time, Landrieu looks like she’s made a mistake in response.

First, the ad…

Christopher Schiff, the ex-Marine Iraq vet from St. Tammany Parish featured in the ad, was on Megyn Kelly last night to discuss his story amid the Landrieu campaign’s pushback – specifically, this quote from Landrieu’s campaign manager Adam Sullivan

“Louisianans know better than to believe what they hear from the out-of-state billionaire Koch brothers,” said Landrieu campaign manager Adam Sullivan. “Sen. Landrieu has always been a fighter for our service members, veterans and military families and she always will be.”

Schiff’s Megyn Kelly hit…

Some details of this story, from last night’s appearance…

  • He was paying $126 per month in his previous health insurance plan; now it’s $295 per month.
  • He’s now paying for a whole bunch of stuff he doesn’t need.
  • The Landrieu campaign is screaming that Obamacare doesn’t affect Tricare or VA benefits, but Schiff said he doesn’t qualify for any of those – so those facts are meaningless where he’s concerned.

AFP released a statement to Fox News yesterday which outlined Schiff’s case…

 “Christopher had a plan from Assurant Health/Time Insurance Company backed by the USAA. Because of Obamacare, he lost the plan that he chose and liked. That plan was cancelled because of the affordable care act, and his monthly insurance premiums for a similar Obamacare compliant plan increased.”

All the fact-checkers who have looked into the ad have recognized that it’s true. Assurant did cancel its Louisiana plans, and it also opted not to extend them. If you’ll remember the controversy that blew up across the nation last year when individual health-care plans started dropping like flies due to Obamacare kicking in…Schiff was one of the victims of that.

The argument becomes whether Obamacare plays the role of bad guy for stealing Schiff’s healthcare plan, which makes Mary Landrieu responsible, or whether Assurant is the bad guy for not extending the plans after the president issued an edict allowing them to be extended for a year. Our readers might remember that controversy, in which Democrat operatives paraded onto cable news to decry the evil insurance companies who opportunistically dropped paying customers rather than continue writing insurance policies for them and Republican operatives took turns chuckling at the cognitive dissonance and ignorance of market forces backing such claims.

We’re back to that discussion in the aftermath of this ad, with the added flavor of Landrieu howling about the “out-of-state billionaires” who are attacking her with mean statements about Obamacare.

But of course, Landrieu has taken $55,000 in campaign donations from those “out-of-state billionaires” over the years, and hasn’t answered questions about whether she will return those donations.

Meantime, Philip Joffrion, who is AFP’s state director in Louisiana, weighed in on the controversy this morning with this statement…

“It’s a sad day when Sen. Landrieu continues to put politics over the people of Louisiana and would stand by her support of this disastrous legislation, rather than work to help a veteran.  Christopher learned that the promises the President and Sen. Landrieu made turned out to be false and must live with the higher cost for a healthcare plan the federal government decided he needed.   Christopher has earned the freedom to make his own healthcare decisions and he deserves better, the people of Louisiana deserve better.”

The upshot of all this? Landrieu now has her own version of Julie Boonstra, the Michigan cancer patient who ended up in a war of words with Rep. Gary Peters, the Democrat candidate for Senate in that state, over the latter’s Obamacare vote which cost her an insurance policy she liked. Peters is still bleeding from the public-relations beating he took at Boonstra’s hands for having gotten into that fight, and now Landrieu has put herself in position to share that fate.

Schiff might not be a sympathetic cancer patient. Instead, he’s a two-term Iraq veteran. What you do with someone like Schiff is thank him for his service and apologize if his insurance costs go up, and then mention you’re trying to fix Obamacare…and hope something comes up to make people forget about the AFP ad. Playing into the Democrats’ anti-Koch Brothers narrative when the Kochs have someone a lot more sympathetic than you are?

Risky.

Let’s not forget that the anti-Koch Brothers thing the Democrats are engaged in is actually a Harry Reid-vs-the-Koch-Brothers thing. We don’t have a poll on whether Reid or the Kochs are more popular in Louisiana, but we do have a national poll result to that effect…

Reid got hit yesterday by the Louisiana GOP with an ethics complaint, and if there is a more unpopular political figure in America with the people of Louisiana we’d be surprised to see who that might be. The guess is the Reid-vs-the-Kochs narrative is probably even worse in Louisiana than it is nationally, so for Landrieu – who has backed Reid for another term as her party’s leader in the Senate – to try to use that wouldn’t seem to be very smart.

Particularly when your vote cost a Marine Iraq War vet two grand a year in health insurance costs to cover things he doesn’t need.

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