September 15th, 2010
02:34 PM ET

Political Theater: Third-party ad targets Sestak on Medicare

AC360°'s Political Theater is back!

Today, Tom Foreman is fact checking an ad that asks viewers to tell Rep. Joe Sestak, the Democratic nominee for Senate in Pennsylvania, to "stop the Medicare cuts."

Here’s the script for the 30-second ad which is entitled “Hurting” and is paid for by Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies:

"We’re hurting…"
"But what are they doing in Washington?"
"Congressman Joe Sestak voted for Obama’s big-government health care scheme... …billions in job killing taxes…"
"And higher insurance premiums for hard hit families…"
"Even worse, Sestak voted to gut Medicare, a $500 billion dollar cut."
"….Reduced benefits for 850,000 Pennsylvania seniors"
"Higher taxes and premiums, fewer jobs…Medicare cuts. The Sestak/Obama plan costs us too much."
"Tell Congressman Sestak, stop the Medicare cuts."

Take a look at the ad's claims and then render your own verdict in the comments section below. You have 4 choices: “Right on,” “It’s a stretch,” “Tall tale,” or “Big fat lie.” Be brief but please give us the evidence in support of your verdict. And two more things: CNN’s comment policy applies and be responsive to our request for help; only submit comments that will help us fact check the ad.

Earlier: DNC ad gets an "It's a stretch" verdict

Filed under: 360° Radar
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. J.V.Hodgson

    Not say in the small print under the video its a "conservative group"
    Overall, it a relatively "tall tale"
    PS your categories dont mean much and give too much interpretative scope.
    1) It is not per se a "government tax" for two reasons, you can keep you private corporate insurance company backed medical cover. If they increase it thats a premium cost increase.
    2)Nor does the government control per se other than via state regulations "already in place before this legislation" Private medical insurance company premiums or the cost of medications from Big Pharma, or the hospitals fee rates or doctors fee rates in the private sector hospitals; only in medicare and medicaid
    do they have some influence,it is negotiable with Doctors etc.
    3) Without the timeframe of 2014 ( not before) and other cost reductions attributed to the legislation the $500bn cost cut is made to look as though its happened it has not,likely in 4 years yes. Should we remember a Florida Senate candidate whose company was fined $1.7bn for cheating!!
    4) Where the fewer jobs comes from is a mystery if you have an insured population increase of 31m patients then you need more nurses doctors
    medications, precriptions (pharmacists) filled etc etc.

    September 16, 2010 at 2:30 am |
  2. B. Williams

    This is just more political blah blah blah. Medicare supports thousands of business. In home care is highly dependent on Medicare. Scooter-type chairs, OT's PT's and, according to AARP, with a doctor's prescription, you can even get a small house, complete with specialized equiptment, built on your property, for around $70,000. So, it won't be long before Medicare will be paying for those too. Originally, Medicare was to help with medical bills after you retired, not unecessary frills to make life easy.

    September 16, 2010 at 1:14 am |
  3. Annie Kate

    Medicare does not need cut – as it is now it pays some but not all of medical expenses especially if you have the Part D for prescriptions. On prescriptions they only pay for certain drugs and then at only 50 to 80 percent. Some drugs are not covered at all and even if your doctor vouches that the drug is critical for your ongoing health, Medicare still will not cover it. Then on top of all the things they don't cover once they have paid out about $2000 in coverage you get to the donut hole where they cover NOTHING until you spend almost 5000 dollars. That's a big hole. For my medicines I hit the donut hole about 6 months into the year; I had to pay out of pocket for my prescriptions for the rest of the year and never got to the point to where the donut hole ended. It does not sound like much but when you are disabled and on a fixed income from social security paying for the medicines and food both is sometimes not possible and you have to choose – your health or eating (and not just for yourself but eating for the whole family). Health usually loses out. Medicare is inadequate as it is despite the amount paid in over a work career – cut the defense budget or Congressional salaries – don't cut Medicare that so many of us are dependent on.

    September 15, 2010 at 11:10 pm |