WASHINGTON — Critics of President Obama's healthcare overhaul are seizing on the Supreme Court’s ruling that the individual mandate can be upheld as a tax penalty, saying that formulation offers them a fresh way to attack the measure.
“If they’re going to uphold it, frankly this is the most helpful way to uphold it,” said Tim Phillips, president of the conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity, which on Friday launched a new $9-million ad campaign calling the measure “one of the largest tax increases in American history.”
“Shouldn’t Obama’s priorities have been creating jobs and ending reckless spending?” asks a female narrator in the spot, which the group says is airing in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. “Instead, he focused on a $2-trillion healthcare takeover that we have to pay for. How can we afford this tax? We’re already struggling.”
The same talking point was also taken up by Crossroads GPS, another tax-exempt advocacy group, which said Friday it updated an ad it is running in North Dakota against Democratic Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp to accuse her of supporting a measure that “raises half a trillion dollars in taxes on Americans.”