American Crossroads' Misleading Attack On Robin Carnahan

August 25, 2010 4:56 pm ET

American Crossroads, a conservative 527 group linked to Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, has produced a new ad attacking Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan for supporting the Affordable Care Act and for not supporting a lawsuit the state's Lt. Governor has brought forth aimed at stopping the implementation of reform.  The ad accuses Carnahan going against the wishes of "71% of Missouri voters" who opposed the individual mandate. But the figure is highly misleading — only 23% of voters participated in the primaries and Republicans outnumbered Democrats two to one — and takes away from the larger issue: the mandate is both constitutional and vital to reform.

American Crossroads Attacks Robin Carnahan


The message is clear.  71% of Missouri voters don't want government-mandated health care.  We want to make our own health care decisions.  But Robin Carnahan disagrees.  While 71% of us voted no, Carnahan sided with lobbyists, unions and Washington insiders to force ObamaCare on us.  Missouri's Lieutenant Governor is suing the federal government so we can keep our health care.  Tell Carnahan to get in touch with Missourians and support the health care challenge. [American Crossroads: "Issue Ad on Robin Carnahan" via YouTube, 8/19/10]

Prop C Results Don't Amount to Much

Republicans Outnumbered Democrats Two-To-One At Primary Polls.  According to the Washington Post: "Supporters of the health care law counter that Republicans outnumbered Democrats about two-to-one at the polls on Tuesday owing to a number of competitive GOP primaries in the Show Me State, including Rep. Roy Blunt's (R) Senate primary." [Washington Post, 8/6/10]

Relatively Low Turnout In Missouri Primary.  According to the Kansas City Star, "The proposition's success was bolstered by a heavily Republican turnout in a relatively low-turnout primary. In the U.S. Senate race, for example, Republican candidates received almost 65 percent of the votes cast." [Kansas City Star, 8/4/10]

Insurance Mandate Is Constitutional

Health Care Mandate Is Constitutional And Vital To Implementing Reform.  Writing for The New England Journal of Medicine, Yale University constitutional law professor Jack Balkin explains, "The individual mandate taxes people who do not buy health insurance. Critics charge that these people are not engaged in any activity that Congress might regulate; they are simply doing nothing. This is not the case. Such people actually self-insure through various means. When uninsured people get sick, they rely on their families for financial support, go to emergency rooms (often passing costs on to others), or purchase over-the-counter remedies. They substitute these activities for paying premiums to health insurance companies. All these activities are economic, and they have a cumulative effect on interstate commerce. Moreover, like people who substitute homegrown marijuana or wheat for purchased crops, the cumulative effect of uninsured people's behavior undermines Congress's regulation - in this case, its regulation of health insurance markets. Because Congress believes that national health care reform won't succeed unless these people are brought into national risk pools, it can regulate their activities in order to make its general regulation of health insurance effective." [The New England Journal of Medicine, 2/11/10]

For Most People, Cost Of Premiums Will Stay The Same Or Go Down

PolitiFact: "For Most People, Premiums Would Stay About The Same, Or Slightly Decrease." According to "The CBO reported that, for most people, premiums would stay about the same, or slightly decrease. This was especially true for people who get their insurance through work. (Health policy wonks call these the large group and small group markets.) People who have to go out and buy insurance on their own (the individual market) would see rates increase by 10 to 13 percent. But more than half of those people -- 57 percent, in fact -- would be eligible for subsidies to help them pay for the insurance. People who get subsidies would see their premiums drop by more than half, according to the CBO. So most people would see their premiums stay the same or potentially drop." [, 1/27/10; emphasis added]

Health Care Reform Will Protect Medicare

Health Care Reform "Will Keep Paying Medical Bills For Seniors."  According to "The government-run Medicare program will keep paying medical bills for seniors, but it will begin implementing cost controls on health care providers, mostly through penalties and incentives. The legislation would reduce payments for hospital-acquired infections or preventable hospital admissions. For Medicare Advantage, the federal government intends to reduce extra payments, taking away subsidies to private insurance companies. Insurers will likely cut benefits in order to not lose profits. The bill does not address the 'doctor's fix,' an expected proposal that Congress usually passes to prevent doctors' Medicare payments from severe cuts." [, 3/18/10; emphasis in original]

Health Care Reform Fills The "Doughnut Hole."  According to the Kaiser Family Foundation: "In 2010, Part D enrollees with any spending in the coverage gap will receive a $250 rebate. Beginning in 2011, enrollees with spending in the coverage gap will receive a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs, provided by the pharmaceutical industry. The law phases in Medicare coverage in the gap for generic drugs beginning in 2011, and for brand-name drugs beginning in 2013. By 2020, Part D enrollees will be responsible for 25 percent of the cost of both brands and generics in the gap, down from 100 percent in 2010." [Kaiser Family Foundation, accessed 8/25/10]

Health Care Reform Improves Medicare's Coverage Of Preventative Benefits.  According to the Kaiser Family Foundation: "Beginning in 2011, no coinsurance or deductibles will be charged in traditional Medicare for preventive services that are rated A or B by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). Medicare will cover a free annual comprehensive wellness visit and personalized prevention plan." [Kaiser Family Foundation, accessed 8/25/10]

Health Care Reform Will Insure The Uninsured

Health Care Reform Significantly Expands Medicaid. According to The Commonwealth Fund: "In 2014, the [Affordable Care Act] expands Medicaid eligibility for all legal residents to 133 percent of the federal poverty level (about $14,404 for a single adult or $29,327 for a family of four). This is a major change in Medicaid's coverage of adults. Although several states have expanded eligibility to include parents of dependent children, in most states adults' income eligibility is well below the federal poverty level. And childless adults are not currently eligible for Medicaid, regardless of their income, in most states. Because almost half of the uninsured, or 21 million people, live in households with incomes under 133 percent of poverty, the Medicaid expansion will potentially do more to increase the number of people with health insurance than any other provision in the law." [The Commonwealth Fund, 7/13/10]

Health Care Reform Creates Jobs And Cuts The Deficit

Health Care Reform Will Create Up To 4 Million American Jobs In The Next Decade. According to the Center for American Progress: "Relative to baseline employment forecasts from the Employment Projections Program at the U.S. Department of Labor, we estimate that moderate medical savings from health care modernization as envisioned under the legislation now before Congress would lead to an average of 250,000 additional jobs created annually. Under the larger assumption about savings due to health care reform, 400,000 new jobs a year would be created on average." [Center for American Progress, New Jobs Through Better Health Care, January 2010]

CBO: Health Care Reform Package Would Reduce The Deficit By $138 Billion By 2019. According to the Congressional Budget Office: "The reconciliation proposal includes provisions related to health care and revenues, many of which would amend H.R. 3590. It also includes amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965, which authorizes most federal programs involving postsecondary education. CBO and JCT estimate that enacting both pieces of legislation-H.R. 3590 and the reconciliation proposal- would produce a net reduction in federal deficits of $138 billion over the 2010-2019 period as result of changes in direct spending and revenue." [CBO, 3/18/10]