Gov hopeful Pritzker spends $1 million on Obamacare enrollment ads

Sunday, 05 November 2017, 05:50:11 PM. Enrollment starts Wednesday and runs through Dec. 15 — half the window as in past years.

Obamacare health insurance enrollment kicks off on Wednesday, and in the wake of President Donald Trump draining almost all funding to promote sign-ups, two Democrats and a Republican are stepping up to fill that void.

Democratic governor candidate JB Pritzker is paying about $1 million to run radio and digital ads to run all across Illinois.

Former President Barack Obama has unveiled his own video to promote enrollment.

And even Gov. Bruce Rauner is joining in.

Pritzker’s ads, paid for by his gubernatorial campaign, start on Wednesday and will run through the enrollment period, which ends Dec. 15. The site to enroll is www.healthcare.gov.

Pritzker, locked in a Democratic primary, is making the ad buy as Democrats at the local and national levels are trying to fill in the gaps caused by Trump’s attempts to dismantle former President Barack Obama’s signature Affordable Health Care Act.

On Wednesday morning, Obama’s team released a video Obama made to encourage enrollment as part of a digital campaign.

In the spot Obama says, “Hey, everybody! It’s November 1, which means today is the first day to Get Covered for 2018. Healthcare.gov is open for business right now. You can shop for a health insurance plan that’s right for you and your family.
 
“It only takes a few minutes, and the vast majority of people qualify for financial assistance. In fact, 8 in 10 people this year can find plans for $75 a month or less. That’s cheaper than a lot of cellphone plans.
 
“And thanks to the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies can no longer charge you more just for being a woman, or for having a pre-existing condition.That’s a good thing. It means they have to compete for your business. And with just a few clicks, you can easily compare health insurance plans to find one that fits what you need.”
 
Billionaire Pritzker is self-funding his campaign and spokeswoman Galia Slayen said the $1 million for the ads will come out of Pritzker’s campaign fund. Slayen said it is likely that Pritzker is the only candidate paying for ads to promote Obamacare enrollment.

Health care insurance is an issue that is likely to animate the Democrat base vote and potentially attract cross-over voters, a political reason GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner, who has been mostly silent about Trump’s attempts to end Obamacare, has decided to use state resources to let people know about enrollment options that start on Wednesday. Department of Insurance Director Jennifer Hammer is holding a news conference in Chicago Wednesday to discuss enrollment efforts for the state marketplace site, Get Covered Illinois.

In one spot, Pritzker says,”There are hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans currently benefiting from Obamacare, but one of Donald Trump’s strategies to kill the program is to make it harder to sign up. This year, he’s cut the period to enroll in Obamacare by half and cut advertising to tell people about it by 90 percent. We can’t let Donald Trump win.

“If you’re interested in signing up, the enrollment period is from November 1 to December 15. For more information, go to http://www.healthcare.gov. That’s www.healthcare.gov. Again, this is JB Pritzker. The truth is, there’s a lot that can be done in Illinois to fight against what’s going on in Washington, but Bruce Rauner’s doing nothing. As your governor, I’ll stand up to Donald Trump and always fight for Illinois.”

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