First on CNN: Ryan allies fire first in outside spending fight over Obamacare

Pence, Ryan: We'll keep promise to the people
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Story highlights

  • Policy debates sometimes to ignite smaller paid media campaigns by issue groups
  • Some of the spots will air in the districts home to Republican leadership

Washington (CNN)Donors and allies of House Speaker Paul Ryan are spending $1 million on television ads to pitch Republicans' replacement plans for Obamacare, one of the first attempts by outside spending groups to shape public opinion on the divisive repeal effort.

The American Action Network, a nonprofit funded by Ryan supporters, is beginning the television campaign nationally and in the districts of typically vulnerable Republicans. It's an effort in part to insulate House Republicans from the attempt to repeal and replace President Barack Obama's controversial healthcare law, though the GOP has yet to unify around a single plan to pass in its stead.
"Imagine a new path forward," the glossy spot says, rattling off basic GOP health care principles. "House Republicans have a plan to get there, without disrupting existing coverage."
    Television advertising has ground to a halt after the 2016 elections, though policy debates sometimes ignite smaller paid media campaigns by issue groups.
    The spots will air in 15 districts home to either those at risk in 2018 or key Republican committee chairs. The group also studied Democrats initial messaging campaign on the issue -- that Republicans want to "Make America Sick Again" -- and American Action Network head Corry Bliss dismissed it as a "publicity stunt."
    "Americans should know that Speaker Ryan and House Republicans have a plan to replace Obamacare with quality, affordable health care," he said in a statement. "For all the noise over Obamacare repeal, this much is clear: Americans support the House Republican plan and believe in a fair transition period to get there."