60 Plus Association: “Senator Nelson, Promises”

Unmoved by independent fact checkers’ incredulity over the blatant falsehoods in their previous ads, 60 Plus Association has once again deployed 60s singer Pat Boone in an ad that relies the same misinformation about the Affordable Care Act’s effect on Medicare. The ad focuses on the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a panel created by the health care law to find savings in Medicare, which 60 Plus describes as “a Medicare IRS with the power to cut Medicare.” In reality, IPAB’s members must be confirmed by the Senate, and it is explicitly forbidden from cutting benefits or ‘rationing’ care.

Read more after the jump.

Crossroads GPS: “Sense”

Crossroads GPS uses Montana Sen. Jon Tester’s vote in favor of the Middle Class Tax Cut Act to accuse him of supporting tax hikes on Montana families and small businesses. In reality, Tester’s vote supported an extension of the Bush tax cuts for all income up to $200,000. Those earning more than that – approximately the top 1.4 percent of households – are, contrary to Crossroads’ suggestion, very rarely actual small businesses. Crossroads’ other evidence for Tester’s supposed habit of hiking taxes is the health care law, which won’t increase taxes for the majority of Americans.

Read more after the jump.

Crossroads GPS: “People Over Government”

Crossroads GPS is attacking Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) over taxes, attempting to cast her support for ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans as a determination to increase taxes on small businesses. But what McCaskill has actually “voted repeatedly” to do is to cut everyone’s taxes on their first $200,000 of income, and to revert to Clinton-era rates on the 1.4 percent of Americans who earn enough to benefit from the top-end Bush tax cuts. In addition to the standard conservative conflation of rich people and small businesses, the GPS ad misleads about the tax impact of health care reform, and implies that it’s McCaskill, and not a massive global economic crisis, that’s hurt Missouri’s manufacturers.

Read more after the jump.

How The Affordable Care Act Makes Medicare Stronger

More than two years after the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law, the conservative crusade against the bill continues. Perhaps the most common attack against the law is that it hurts America’s seniors, specifically by “cutting” or “slashing” $500 billion from Medicare. In reality, ACA’s savings do not have a negative impact on current benefits – and the controversial GOP plan authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) actually retained almost all of the spending reductions in the law. ACA also reduces overpayments to Medicare Advantage, a private alternative to the federally run plan, and creates a Senate-confirmed board of experts to find future savings. Meanwhile, conservative critics fail to mention that ACA closes the prescription drug “donut hole,” provides free preventive services to millions of seniors, and extends the program’s solvency.

Affordable Care Act Closes The Prescription Drug “Donut Hole”

“Donut Hole” Is Gap In Drug Coverage For Annual Costs From $2,830-6,440. From CNNMoney: “What’s the donut hole? In addition to a $310 deductible, Medicare beneficiaries pay 25% of their drug costs until the total reaches $2,830 for the year. Then, they fall into a coverage gap. At that point, enrollees must pay all costs out of pocket until their annual expenses exceed $6,440. After that, seniors pay 5% of drug costs for the rest of the year.“ [CNNMoney, 6/7/10]

Read more after the jump.

What Americans Lose If Conservatives Get Their Way On The Affordable Care Act

After several failed attempts to repeal or defund the Affordable Care Act, conservative candidates are persisting in making the destruction of the landmark health care reform law a campaign issue, with many promising to do away with the law come 2013. But the benefits in the law are already kicking in, and repealing the law would affect millions of Americans who are already seeing lower health care costs, better services, and protection against industry abuses.

Repeal Would Kick Millions Off Their Insurance

Up To 30 Million Could Lose Coverage Gained As A Result Of The Affordable Care Act. From the Congressional Budget Office: “CBO and JCT now estimate that the ACA, in comparison with prior law before the enactment of the ACA, will reduce the number of nonelderly people without health insurance coverage by 14 million in 2014 and by 29 million or 30 million in the latter part of the coming decade, leaving 30 million nonelderly residents uninsured by the end of the period.” [CBO.gov, July 2012]

Up To 6.6 Million Young Adults Would Lose Health Care Coverage Through Their Parents’ Plans. From the Los Angeles Times: “President Obama’s healthcare law helped as many as 6.6 million young adults stay on or get on their parents’ health plans in the first year and a half after the law was signed, a new survey indicates. […] Earlier surveys by the federal government found that the number of people ages 19 to 25 without insurance declined after the law was signed, reversing years of erosion in health coverage for young adults.” [Los Angeles Times, 6/8/12]

Read more after the jump.

Rep. Paul Ryan’s Severely Conservative Budget Benefits The Rich At The Expense Of The Vulnerable

Those familiar with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) last budget proposal won’t be shocked at this year’s updated “Path to Prosperity,” a fiscal plan for 2013 and beyond that pledges policy prescriptions for “safeguarding America from the perils of debt, doubt and decline.” Like the old version of the “Path,” Ryan’s second attempt at engineering fiscal policy – including recommendations for overhauling the tax code, cutting spending, and reforming Medicare and Medicaid – takes an axe to federal spending that benefits those without political or economic power but showers tax breaks on the wealthy. With its absence of reasonable solutions for lowering debt and its far-fetched proposals to shift the country’s fiscal burdens onto the poor and middle class, the latest Ryan plan is at heart the same as the old one: A blueprint not for stabilizing the country’s fiscal situation but for forcing an ultra-conservative vision on the federal government.

Ryan Plan’s Cuts Are Enormous, Unrealistic, And Wouldn’t Balance The Budget Until 2040

The New Ryan Plan Proposes Even Larger Deficit Cuts Than Last Year’s GOP Budget. From the Associated Press: “This year’s GOP measure would produce deficit estimates that are significantly lower than a comparable measure passed by the House a year ago, claiming deficit cuts totaling $3.3 trillion – spending cuts of $5.3 trillion tempered by $2 trillion in lower taxes – below Obama over the coming decade. The deficit in 2015, for example, would drop to about $300 billion from $1.2 trillion for the current budget year. Last year’s GOP draft called for a 2015 deficit more than $100 billion higher.” [Associated Press via HuffingtonPost.com, 3/20/12]

The New Ryan Budget Cuts Spending By $100 Billion From This Year To Next. From the Associated Press: “The measure would cut spending from $3.6 trillion this year to the $3.5 trillion range in 2013 and freeze it at that level for two more years.” [Associated Press via HuffingtonPost.com, 3/20/12]

The New Ryan Budget Cuts Spending By $5 Trillion Over The Next Ten Years. From Bloomberg: “House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan today proposed reducing spending by $5 trillion over the next decade from the U.S. budget with Medicaid, food stamps, Pell college tuition grants and other programs facing reductions.” [Bloomberg, 3/20/12]

Read more after the jump.

It’s Not Just Abortion: The Far-Reaching Conservative War On Women’s Health

Summary

Attempts to restrict women’s access to legal and safe abortion is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the conservative assault on women’s health care. Conservatives, particularly the increasingly right-wing House Republicans who rode into the majority on a Tea Party wave, have also sought to undermine and defund a variety of what ought to be non-divisive women’s health care services. Over the last year or so, conservatives have ramped up the war on women’s health care, including access to contraceptives, preventive services like cancer screenings, and programs that promote maternal and childhood health.

Title X: Birth Control And Cancer Screenings

House GOP Repeatedly Tried To Zero Out Title X Funding

In The 2011 Spending Bill, House Republicans Tried To Completely Eliminate A Program That Provides Family Planning And Cancer Screenings For Low-Income Women. From the National Women’s Law Center: “The bill to fund – and de-fund – the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 2011, H.R. 1, passed the House on February 19, 2011, on a party-line vote (all but three Republicans voting voted for the bill; all Democrats voting voted against it). […] H.R. 1 eliminates funding for the Title X program, which for more than 40 years has provided family planning services, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and other preventive health care to low-income women in need. Title X-funded health centers serve more than five million low-income women and men each year, and six in 10 women who obtain health care from a family planning center consider it to be their primary source of health care.” [National Women’s Law Center, 2/23/11]

Read more after the jump.

Contraceptive Coverage: No Bitter Pill For Most Americans

The arguments in favor of the new Health and Human Services (HHS) rule requiring employers to provide health plans that cover contraceptives with no cost-sharing are overwhelming. Yet, as is often the case in matters concerning women’s health and reproductive rights, what ought to be an issue of effective and practical modern public health policy has been reframed by the right as a threat to religious liberty. Despite an exception to the HHS rule allowing religiously affiliated employers to avoid paying premiums that support contraceptives by shifting the responsibility onto insurers, conservatives remain outraged. But the outside groups and politicians who persist in protesting over the issue are at odds with the American public.

The Origins Of The Uproar Over Contraceptive Coverage

The Affordable Care Act Requires New Insurance Plans To Cover Preventive Services For Free. From The New York Times: “Starting this year, insurers will be required under the Affordable Care Act to completely cover such services as annual physicals, childhood vaccinations and dozens of screening tests for everything from high blood pressure to abdominal aortic aneurysms.” [The New York Times, 9/19/11]

Read more after the jump.

U.S. Chamber Of Commerce: “Tammy Baldwin – Failure”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce accuses Wisconsin Rep. Tammy Baldwin of ‘making it worse’ for Wisconsin families by voting for the Dodd-Frank wall street reform bill and for health care reform, making false accusations about the legislation in the process. For instance, Dodd-Frank regulations target large firms in order to help prevent another financial sector meltdown — not, as the ad claims, small businesses. And the claim that Affordable Care Act — which won’t raise taxes for most Americans – is a job-killer has been debunked.

Read more after the jump.

U.S. Chamber Of Commerce: “Bill Nelson – Deciding”

An ad from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce attacks Florida Sen. Bill Nelson as a “deciding vote for government-mandated health care,” although he was just one of 60 senators whose votes in favor of the health care reform law counted equally. The Chamber also throws out a series of distortions about the law, saying, for example, that it will cost taxpayers “over $1 trillion,” even though it reduces the deficit, and misusing information about how the law will expand coverage and achieve Medicare savings.

Read more after the jump.