Democrats Flip Open the Health Care Playbook

Major Democratic super PACs are running similar ads in competitive House races. In California’s 21st Congressional District, where former Representative David Valadao is running to reclaim the seat he lost in 2018, House Majority PAC has highlighted votes he made while in Congress to repeal the A.C.A.

If this sounds familiar, it is. In 2018, this was the No. 1 line of attack for Democrats.

Another common attack line from Democrats has been highlighting campaign contributions from pharmaceutical and health insurance companies. In Montana, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee attacked Mr. Daines for taking more than $700,000 in campaign contributions “from the drug and insurance industries.” In Arizona, Senate Majority PAC, a major Democratic super PAC, attacked Ms. McSally for taking $600,000 from “insurance companies.”

Of course, this is a common political tactic, and it obfuscates how much of that money might have come from small-dollar donors who happen to work in those heath care fields. But it also shows how villainous the health insurance and pharmaceutical companies have become in the eyes of many voters. On the Republican side, President Trump has railed against pharmaceutical companies and has spent more than $1 million on advertising that denounced “greedy drug companies.”

In ads supporting Republicans, there is little to no talk of the Affordable Care Act. Rather, pre-existing conditions are discussed anecdotally. In one ad from the campaign of Senator Susan Collins of Maine, a man recalls how Ms. Collins supported research and funding for patients with the genetic muscular disorder that his sons were born with.

Republicans have attacked Democrats on health care by linking candidates to the “Medicare for all” proposal championed by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. In New York’s 24th Congressional District, the National Republican Congressional Committee links Dana Balter, who is challenging Representative John Katko, to Mr. Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, though Ms. Balter supports keeping a role for private insurance under Medicare for all.

Another ad from the N.R.C.C. uses Mr. Biden’s criticism of Medicare for all from the Democratic presidential primary debates to attack Kara Eastman, a candidate in Nebraska’s Second Congressional District, who supports Medicare for all.