May 28, 2014 at 10:33 am

Conservative group unveils new attack ad against Peters

The conservative group, Americans for Prosperity, unveiled another attack ad against Senate candidate Gary Peters Wednesday, but this time aimed at eroding his support among women.

The 30-second spot that will run for three weeks features images of mothers as the female narrator says “Michigan women understand it’s tough to make ends meet.” The ad says Peters, the Democratic congressman from Bloomfield Township, “is making things worse” for women with his vote in favor of Obamacare.

The $750,000 ad now brings the total to nearly $6 million in negative ads Koch-brother backed Americans for Prosperity has launched in Michigan against Peters, who voted in favor of the 2010 Affordable Care Act to improve access to insurance. He has since voted in favor of delays to parts of the law after there were difficulties with the roll-out of the exchange website.

“This ad really gives context to the struggle it takes to make ends meet for Michigan families, and they shouldn't have to shoulder the costs of Obamacare on top of it,” said Chris Neefus, AFP spokesman.

Health care premiums have been on the rise for years, though the rate of growth has slowed since the ACA’s passage to 3.8 percent in 2013 and 4.5 percent the previous year, according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation study. It’s too early to tell the overall effect on premiums 2014, the first full year of health insurance marketplace for individuals. But employers, which make up nearly 60 percent of insurance marketplace, expect to pay more and a growing number of employers are passing higher costs on to their employees, according to a survey this year by the health consulting firm Mercer.

The ad comes as a new Detroit News/WDIV survey shows Peters has a 4.3-percentage-point lead against his GOP opponent Terri Lynn Land, the former secretary of state. But among women, Peters has a notable 8 percentage-point lead.

Peters, who is pro-choice, has been campaigning on access to women’s health care services, such as Planned Parenthood and contraception. Land is against abortions in cases of rape and incest, but makes an exception for the life of the mother. Despite claims in a negative TV ad against her sponsored by the Democratic Senate Majority PAC, Land said she wouldn’t vote for a law to deny women’s access to contraception.

Land and Peters are squaring off in tight contest to succeed retiring Sen. Carl Levin, D-Detroit, where a GOP win in Michigan could tip control of the Senate to Republicans.

They are scheduled to appear Wednesday morning at a Detroit Regional Chamber political action committee event on Mackinac Island to talk separately about the issues for the chamber’s policy conference.

mschultz@detroitnews.com
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