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Group launches seven-figure ad buy boosting vulnerable Democrats on drug prices

A Democratic group is launching $2 million in new digital ads highlighting vulnerable House Democrats’ efforts to lower drug prices. 

The ads from the group Protect Our Care illustrate how Democrats are seeking to keep their momentum going on health care after they focused on the issue in winning back the House last year.

The ad buy shows that even as the impeachment inquiry into President Trump gains focus, Democrats are still trying to focus on kitchen-table issues like lowering drug prices. 

The new spending will bring the ads to 10 new districts of House freshmen, on top of the 10 districts that were part of an earlier $2 million buy in September focused on pre-existing conditions. 

“Rep. Elissa Slotkin is standing up to big drug companies,” the narrator in the ad for Slotkin, a Michigan Democrat, states. “She’s fighting to give Medicare the power to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices, reducing your costs by as much as 55 percent.”

“Thank her for leading the fight to lower your drug prices,” it adds.

The 10 new districts in the campaign are those of Democratic Reps. Angie Craig (Minn.), Sharice Davids (Kan.), Antonio Delgado (N.Y.), Lizzie Fletcher (Texas), Jared Golden (Maine), Susie Lee (Nev.), Elaine Luria (Va.), Lucy McBath (Ga.), Chris Pappas (N.H.) and Susan Wild (Pa.), all of whom face potentially tough reelection races next year. 

House Democrats are planning to vote next month on their signature legislation to lower drug prices, known as H.R. 3, which would empower the secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate lower prices for up to 250 drugs per year. 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) office has expressed hope that Trump would back the legislation, given his support for Medicare negotiating drug prices during the 2016 campaign. But Trump backed off that support in office, and the White House has recently criticized Pelosi’s bill, in favor of a somewhat more modest bipartisan measure to lower drug prices in the Senate. 

Republicans warn Pelosi’s bill would hinder the development of new cures. 

“We don’t see that happening,” Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach said of GOP support for the bill.

“Every statement from the president is that he opposes it,” he added. 

Campaigning on the issue could still prove effective for Democrats given the priority the public places on lowering drug prices. 

Dach said the ads are to “be sure [House Democrats] get thanked and be sure their constituents know they’re doing it.” 

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