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Hotel workers union targets Katko as part of $2M radio, TV ad campaign

Hotel workers union targets Katko as part of $2M radio, TV ad campaign

  • Updated

A union representing 40,000 hospitality workers in New Jersey and New York blasts Republican U.S. Rep. John Katko's tax vote in a new television ad that will begin airing Tuesday. 

The New York Hotel Trades Council's ads — the group is already airing a radio ad targeting Katko, R-Camillus, in the Syracuse area — are part of a $2 million independent expenditure targeting five congressional races in New York and New Jersey. The campaign includes the 24th Congressional District race pitting Katko against Democratic challenger Dana Balter. 

The ads against Katko criticize him for his vote on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a Republican-backed tax overhaul that passed last year and was signed into law by President Donald Trump. 

"John Katko voted to put health care at risk for New Yorkers with preexisting conditions," the ad's narrator said. 

Democratic-aligned groups have repeatedly made the link between the tax vote and a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, a 2010 health care law that remains one of President Barack Obama's signature legislative achievements. 

The tax law contained a provision that eliminates the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate penalty. The health care law, which is also referred to as "ObamaCare," requires individuals to purchase health insurance coverage. If they don't, they must pay a fine. 

In 2018, the penalty for adults is $695 or 2.5 percent of household income, whichever is greater. 

Beginning in 2019, the penalty will no longer be in effect. 

With the individual mandate's repeal, Republican attorneys general launched an effort to dismantle the entire law. Without the individual mandate, the attorneys general argue that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. They filed a federal lawsuit challenging ObamaCare. 

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act say that the lawsuit threatens protections for those with preexisting conditions. The health care law prohibits health insurers from refusing to provide coverage or charging people more if they have a preexisting condition. 

The radio and TV ads funded by the Hotel Trades Council will run through Election Day. The TV ad will air on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and Spectrum News. The radio ad is already airing on Syracuse-area stations. 

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