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POLITICS: PennAve

Mary Landrieu takes credit for Obamacare fix in new ad in Louisiana

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Louisiana,Health Care,2014 Elections,Campaigns,PennAve,Rebecca Berg,Mary Landrieu

In the first television ad of her re-election campaign, Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu portrays herself as a leading voice in demanding changes to Obamacare that would allow Americans to keep their existing plans, an early indicator of the just how seriously her team believes the issue will be with Louisiana voters in 2014.

The ad refers to legislation Landrieu introduced that would have allowed health care plans being canceled under Obamacare to remain in effect even though they don't meet the higher coverage standards. Landrieu is shown in the ad promoting her fix on cable news programs.

"This is a promise you made, this is a promise you should keep," Landrieu says in the ad, referring to President Obama's refrain, "If you like your plan, you can keep it."

Landrieu's legislation is presented in the ad as the catalyst that brought about a change in the law, even though the bill never came up for a vote. The fix was made by the White House and would extend existing plans only through 2014, not permanently, as Landrieu proposed.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee on Wednesday called the spot "the most disingenuous ad of the year."

Landrieu has been a steady supporter of Obama's new health care law, and she has staked a share of her reputation on its success. But it's no coincidence that her first campaign ad honed in on troubles with the new law and her own role in trying to blunt impact of those troubles on people.

The Landrieu campaign is reaching out to a vast swath of Louisiana voters with the ad. The $250,000 buy for the ad will ensure it's shown in all of the state's television markets except New Orleans, where Landrieu already has strong support from a robust Democratic base.

Louisiana is among a handful of states where Republicans will target Democratic incumbents in 2014, and Landrieu is considered to be among the most vulnerable. She will face a field of challengers led by Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy, whom she has led in the polls and outperformed in fundraising.

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Rebecca Berg

Political Correspondent
The Washington Examiner