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  • August 2010
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Holding Politicians Accountable

Misdirection from Crossroads GPS

Ads from a Rove-connected group attack Democratic Senate candidates with faulty claims on health care law.

August 30, 2010


A group with ties to Karl Rove sends viewers astray in a $2 million ad campaign attacking Democratic Senate candidates in Pennsylvania, California and Kentucky. The ads make badly misleading claims about the health care legislation that those Democrats supported.

* An ad attacking Rep. Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania claims that “hard-hit families” will see $2,100 premium hikes. But that’s not true for the large majority, who are likely to see somewhat lower premiums, according to the very source the ad cites. Any families that do see such large premium increases are likely to also get federal subsidies to help pay them, resulting in lower cost to most of them as well.
* The ad also claims that “Sestak voted to gut Medicare.” That’s a wild exaggeration. It’s true that the law calls for restraining the future growth of Medicare spending by about $555 billion — about a 7 percent reduction spread over the next 10 years. And millions who now have private Medicare Advantage plans are likely to see their extra benefits reduced. But that hardly amounts to eviscerating the program.
* An ad attacking California’s Sen. Barbara Boxer claims that she voted to “cut spending on Medicare benefits” by $500 billion. But Boxer didn’t vote for cuts in benefits. Rather, as we note above, the law puts restraints on the growth of future spending, mostly payments to hospitals and other providers. And that won’t necessarily lead to cuts in benefits, except for Medicare Advantage plans.
* A third ad, attacking Jack Conway in Kentucky, also makes misleading references to higher taxes, Medicare cuts and higher premiums.

Note: This is a summary only. The full article with analysis, images and citations may be viewed on our Web site:

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