Mast, the Republican incumbent in Florida’s 18th Congressional District, is attempting to defend his seat against Democratic challenger Lauren Baer.
The DCCC’s new 30-second spot, titled “Down Here,” highlights Mast’s vote in the House to repeal the ACA and replace it with the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Ultimately, a similar bill failed in the Senate, killing the GOP’s efforts.
“Health care matters here in Florida,” the ad’s narrator begins.
“The minute he got to Washington, Congressman Brian Mast forgot that. Mast voted to gut protections for pre-existing conditions and pave the way for what the AARP calls an ‘Age Tax.’ It means insurance companies could charge older Floridians five times more.
“Here at home, Brian Mast’s votes could increase premiums almost $3,000 per family. Florida can’t afford to pay more for health care, and we can’t afford Brian Mast.”
A couple of notes on the ad’s claims. While the GOP bill would allow Americans over 50 to be charged five times more, they can already be charged three times more under the ACA.
Also, the ad cites the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning group, for its claims about $3,000 in premium increases. A CBO report found mixed results regarding premium increases under the AHCA.
Still, Cole Leiter, the spokesperson for the DCCC, argues Mast’s positions on health care are out of step with the district.
“It’s taken less than two years in Washington for Congressman Mast to completely lose touch with the Floridians he was elected to represent,” Leiter argued.
“But he’s demonstrated, without a shadow of doubt, that he’s willing to abandon the needs of hardworking Floridians when he’s with his party in Congress.
“If Florida families can’t trust Congressman Mast with common sense needs like protecting people with pre-existing conditions, keeping health care costs down for older folks, and fighting to make insurance premiums reasonable for working families, he can’t be trusted, period.”
But Brad Stewart, a Mast campaign spokesperson, argues the ACA is bad for CD 18 residents, and Baer’s support for the law will only make things worse.
“Far-left Washington, D.C. special interest groups have already committed nearly $2 million to try to smear Congressman Mast’s record and the reason why is clear: Lauren Baer has proven she will be a reliable vote for Nancy Pelosi’s extreme agenda to pass a massive expansion of government controlled health care,” Stewart said.
“Under Obamacare, average premiums for individuals have more than doubled, but Lauren Baer has said that Obamacare didn’t go far enough. Her solution is a big government take over of health care that experts believe could jeopardize care for current seniors receiving Medicare and need a massive tax increase to pay for it.
“No amount of Washington, D.C. PAC money will change the fact that she is just too extreme for Florida.”