The ad battle continues in PA-12, and today Keith Rothfus is getting a little help from his mother-in-law. The 86 year-old Elsie Lewis blasts Rep. Mark Critz.
“Shame on you Congressman Critz. I’ve known Keith Rothfus for 25 years. He’s my son-in-law. And he will protect Social Security and Medicare,” Lewis says, straight-to-camera.
Continues an announcer, “Congressman Mark Critz lies to keep his job. Critz says Keith Rothfus would end Medicare. It’s just not true. Politifact called it ‘the lie of the year.’”
It’s the second mom-defends-Ryan-budget ad from Republicans this week, following Senate hopeful Tom Smith’s spot “Mom.”
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is in the district, too, with this new spot which keeps up its Medicare attack:
“Millionaire Keith Rothfus praised a plan that would end Medicare, forcing seniors to pay $6,400 more a year for health care,” says an announcer, ominously.
“Just where exactly does Mr. Rothfus think we’re going to get this $6,400 dollars?” asks an incredulous senior.
Both ads were reported first by Early Returns.
The issue is dominating the 2012 election cycle, especially in PA-12, a district with one of the highest concentrations of Medicare recipients in the nation. But both Rothfus’ and the DCCC’s claims are misleading. Here’s a quick recap on the Medicare issue.
In one sentence: The Rothfus ad is a fair rebuttal to the DCCC’s ads, but not to Critz’s ads.
Re: Obamacare. The bill changes the payment structure of Medicare that affect providers, not beneficiaries. The total cost would decrease by an estimated $716 billion. Politifact has rated claims similar to the one Rothfus’s ad makes as “mostly false.”
Critics maintain that Obamacare’s cost-cutting methods will cause providers to cut off seniors, which is a fair point.
Re: the Ryan Budget. The DCCC charges that the plan would “end Medicare” and “force seniors to pay $6,400 more a year for healthcare.”
Politifact did label claims like the one made by the DCCC’s ad – that the Ryan plan would “end Medicare,” period – as “the lie of the year.” To wit, the Ryan plan for Medicare would not apply to current seniors like most of the people featured in the DCCC ad. The effects described – including the $6,400 more out of pocket – don’t apply to folks 55 or older.
However, unlike Ms. Lewis suggests, Critz’s campaign has been far more careful in its wording, saying the plan would “end Medicare as we know it.” That statement, as Politifact notes, is not the “lie of the year” nor even a lie at all. Indeed, the Ryan plan would end the current form of Medicare and make it more like a voucher program.
Finally, there is a hypocrisy inherent in GOP attacks on Obamacare vis-a-vis Medicare. Ryan’s plan makes the exact same $716 billion cuts to Medicare that Obamacare does – a claim Politifact called “true.” That line of attack is like someone in a Ray Lewis jersey accusing his opponent of being a Ravens fan.