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Democrats Upset with GOP Ads Regarding Medicare for All: 'Just Ridiculous Lies'
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11 Oct 2018 01:39 PM EST

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Amy McGrath featured in GOP Ad (Image source: Screenshot)

 

The midterm elections are really gearing up for a fight. Both parties are doing everything they can to swing things their way with Congress. The Republicans have released ads regarding what the Democrats want with "Medicare for All," but it has the Democrats crying foul, referring to the ads as "just ridiculous lies."

 

One particular ad from a super PAC affiliated with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) claims House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Amy McGrath, who is running against incumbent Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY), are both working towards a single-payer socialized-medicine plan for health care. They play a clip over and over again of McGrath saying, "My opinion, single payer is the way to go." The ad claims she is "too liberal for Kentucky." 

"The ad's bull----," remarked Mark Nicholas, the campaign manager for McGrath. "These are just ridiculous lies."

 

Former presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is the one who is touting the $32 trillion "Medicare for All" proposal, and some Democrats are trying to distance themselves from him. Yet, they're still getting attacked for supporting his proposal. 

With the Democrats being divided regarding single-payer healthcare, it's an unfair statement for the GOP to claim this is a Democratic objective, but it's a move on their part to try and connect that in some way to Obamacare which they tried to repeal but failed, after a last-minute vote from the late Sen. John McCain.

 

Donald Trump joined the rest of the GOP in this health care fight in an op-ed he wrote that was published by USA Today. He refers to "Medicare for All" as a "Democratic proposal" and says it "would establish a government-run single-payer health care system that eliminates all private and employer-based health care plans and would cost an astonishing $32.6 trillion during its first 10 years." 

"When it comes to core issues that voters are looking at, obviously Democrats have an advantage on health care," explains Republican strategist Ford O'Connell. "So now you're watching the Republicans sort of move the goalposts."

 

The GOP running for reelection are steering clear of the promise to repeal Obamacare, unlike two years ago. Since they failed in their much heralded effort, it wouldn't sound very promising for them to bring that out again, which is most likely why they are focusing on the "Medicare for All" that Sanders is preaching. 

"It hurt them, no question about it," says Jim McLaughlin, a GOP pollster who also does work with the National Republican Congressional Commission (NRCC), with regards to the failure of the repeal initiative. "A lot of us, we kind of went into the fetal position after the repeal and replace of Obamacare went down."

 

So far McGrath and Barr are even in the polls. Her quote played over and over is taken out of context. What she supports is allowing people to start Medicare 10 years earlier, at age 55, or allowing a "public option" to encourage new competition into the Affordable Healthcare Act's market, and is not prescribing to idea of the government providing health care to everyone. 

The quote from her that is being played in the ad is edited to remove the rest of her comment. That was only a speculation on the best way to build a health care system from the bottom up. After this comment she mentioned her plan to expand ACA, not overhaul the whole thing.

 

Others who are being targeted by ads from the super PAC regarding a single-payer health care system are New York Democrat Anthony Brindisi and Illinois Democrat Betsy Londrigan. The NRCC is airing similar ads for other Democrats who are in tight races, and these candidates don't support "Medicare for All" either. 

Republicans feel there isn't much difference between Sanders' "Medicare for All" plan and the Democratic idea regarding expanding Obamacare, since all of those plans call for an increase in government in health care.

 

"Democrats across the country are embracing an out-of-touch health care plan that comes with a hefty price tag, higher taxes, and less choices for families," claims a spokesman for the Congressional Leadership Fund, Michael Byerly. 

While he was a legislator in the New York Assembly, Brindisi did support a state single-payer bill, but he has said he would not support a nationwide plan that was similar, yet an ad running against him says he "wants to make everyone eligible for Medicare."

 

It's happening throughout the country with many Democratic challengers or incumbents getting called out for supporting Sanders' plan when at most it's a stretch of their words.  

Nicholas says that the biggest challenge for them was trying to take the "high road," yet polls show McGrath hasn't lost anything because of the ads. "It feels good right now," said Nicholas. "I'd rather be us than them."

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