More Pension Talk in New Trivedi Ad (Watch Video)

When you have a hit that moves numbers, don’t get fancy. That’s the takeaway from Democratic challenger Manan Trivedi’s latest TV ad, the second which hits Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Chester) over a 2001 state Senate vote to boost his pension.

“When this plant was shut down, my parents didn’t just lose their jobs. Their pensions were wiped out too,” Trivedi narrates.

“So when our Congressman has two taxpayer funded pensions on top of his salary, votes to increase his pension by over fifty percent then votes to raid the Social Security Trust Fund and gut Medicare, I think that’s wrong,” he says.

It’s a criticism of Gerlach, who has faced more top tier challengers than any other Pa. member of Congress. Trivedi used the same attack in his first TV ad.

The Medicare charge is also familiar; several Democrats this cycle have cited the same Wall Street Journal claim that the House GOP budget would “essentially end Medicare.” This is what FactCheck.org wrote about that very citation: “That partial quote dishonestly truncates what the newspaper actually said. The Journal reported that Medicare would essentially end ‘as a program that directly pays those bills.’ But bills would still have been paid, indirectly.”

Gerlach campaign Senior Adviser Vince Galko said it was Trivedi who is a threat to Medicare.

“Trivedi was a strong supporter of the vote to raid more than $700 billion from our seniors Medicare,” Galko said, referring to the Democrat’s support for Obamacare. “In fact, he said it didn’t go far enough.”

“Trivedi has reached the desperation stage. Hard working taxpayers want leaders, like Jim Gerlach who provide answers and ideas – not Trivedi’s policies of more taxes, more spending and more lies.”

The $700 billion Medicare claim likewise has been refuted by FactCheck.org, which wrote: “Republicans claim the president’s $716 billion “cuts” to Medicare hurt the program’s finances. But the opposite is true. These cuts in the future growth of spending prolong the life of the Medicare trust fund, stretching the program’s finances out longer than they would last otherwise.”

Additionally, the House GOP budget contained the exact same $716 billion in Medicare cuts as Obamacare.

2 Responses

  1. Vince Galko and Gerlach. Liars and thugs. The Medicare they talk about is Medicare Advantage–an inefficient waste of taxpayer dollars until the ACA actually strengthened MA from being such a boondoggle. Galko and Gerlach are acting like protecting Medicare from private sector vultures who never can compete and instead screw people for profits for themselves is undermining the program. And they want to dump Medicare costs on future seniors who already are finding their risk privatized (401Ks instead of the defined-benefit pension with a supplemental 401K that my father who worked for a private sector company has enjoyed). The vision of Medicare that Trivedi is talking about is the one established in 1965. Gerlach’s vision of Medicare is Part C. All privatized Medicare alternatives failed–seniors didn’t want them and private insurance companies lost $ and fled until Medicare Advantage where Republicans had the insurance lobby essentially write the legislation so they got more $ per Medicare recipient than traditional Medicare. All the previous programs collapsed–Nixon’s Medicare HMO program, Gingrich Medicare choice, Bill Archer and his Medicare Savings Accounts in the 90s. I wished Gerlach and Galko would be called out on their lies. Medicare Advantage companies and the pharmaceutical industry and all these groups making $ off the taxpayer fund his campaigns. Gerlach’s Medicare policies are a threat against the public good so he accuses his opponent of his faults.

    If I were advising Trivedi (which I’m not) I would hit at Gerlach’s perceived strength: all the stuff about his caring about seniors. Here’s the three things I would work hard to ding Gerlach about: 1. His support of voucherizing Medicare. He’s been lockstep with his friend Paul Ryan (they really are close); 2. Turning over Medicare to fat-cat private actors making big profits off the backs of seniors. Don’t use the term Medicare Advantage, but as recently as several years ago MA was charging 14% more per Medicare recipient than traditional Medicare. Most years the overcharge was above 10%. Gerlach and his friends promised MA would save $. The ad could mention that American consumers are paying so much for medications since they are subsidizing the rest of the world–a legacy of the American system of health care. 3. Gerlach voted to undermine Medicare with his 2003 vote setting up direct private competition with Medicare in the clear hopes to eventually privatize it. He voted against the legislation (the ACA) in 2009 that repealed this. Of course the Republicans lost enthusiasm for the direct competition proposal when they realized that in straight up competition their constituents (private insurance) would lose to Medicare so they have they glummed on to MA which uses Medicare $ to bolster these private companies actually hindering efficiency. Gerlach could have been working to strengthen private sector Medigap policies which simply supplement Medicare instead of attempting to take its place. But nothing was done and most companies have terminated Medigap plans since there is little advantage now for them to offer them (in the tax code) while there are far more incentives to offer MA plans.

    Hard-hitting ads on Medicare–which are totally truthful–about Gerlach and vouchers, supporting wealthy elite interests–pharmaceutical executives–at the expense of taxpayers and Medicare beneficiaries (who may not like that a private company will want to screw someone who needs expensive treatment and will deny first and ask questions later) are the way to go I think. The take him point is that Gerlach wants to undermine the program which has served so many seniors well for years with all his votes to destroy the traditional program with a new less efficient, less effective, and costly ‘Medicare.’ And guess who will get to pay for Gerlach privatized Medicare! All of us with our voucher that will likely rapidly diminish in value over time–a survival of the fittest war.

    Seniors now often watch more TV than most voters so this is likely the most effective $ to spend on ad dollars especially since seniors tend to support Gerlach can possibly be moved when there is a real response to counter his narrative.

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