- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sen. Mark Pryor’s re-election campaign released an ad Wednesday that touts a part of Obamacare — a rarity among Democrats hoping to stave off attacks derived from the law’s negative headlines and poor polling numbers.

The 30-second spot, which doesn’t mention the 2010 law by name, features Mr. Pryor’s father, former Sen. David Pryor, sitting at the table and discussing the younger Pryor’s battle with cancer.

Mark’s insurance company didn’t want to pay for the treatment that ultimately saved his life,” David Pryor says.

Mr. Pryor, who is hoping to stave off Republican Rep. Tom Cotton this fall, then highlights consumer protections in the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

“No one should be fighting an insurance company while you’re fighting for your life,” Mr. Pryor said. “That’s why I helped passed a law that prevents insurance companies from canceling your policy if you get sick, or deny coverage for preexisting conditions.”

Republicans are hoping to parlay Obamacare’s poor ratings into a net gain of six Senate seats and control of the chamber after November’s mid-term contests.

As a result, vulnerable Democrats in red-leaning states have been reluctant to tout President Obama’s signature health reforms, even though Arkansas and Kentucky have been praised as southern innovators that implemented the law relatively well.

Instead, they’ve focused on their opponents’ approaches to Medicare or the so-called “war on women.”

The Pryor ad comes two weeks after Gallup reported that the two states are leading the nation in cutting down their ranks of uninsured residents.

The Cotton campaign said it admires Mr. Pryor’s courage in fighting cancer, but “we didn’t need Obamacare to change insurance regulations.”

“We all agree that nobody should be denied coverage due to a preexisting condition,” campaign spokesman David Ray said. “Obamacare raises taxes on the middle class, has caused millions of Americans to lose insurance plans they were promised they could keep, has doubled or even tripled premiums on families who can’t afford it, has caused lost wages and hours at work, and is preventing many small businesses from growing and hiring more people.”

He said the nation needs to start over with reform “that makes health care more affordable and keeps health care decisions between patients and doctors.”