60 Plus Ad Uses The Greatest Generation's Achievements To Scare People Into Opposing Reform

November 04, 2009 5:29 pm ET

The right-wing seniors' group 60 Plus has put together a new ad opposing health care reform.  Instead of providing seniors with the correct information that health care reform will benefit them and their families, 60 Plus chose to use scare tactics to inspire America's seniors to fight progressive health care reform.

60 Plus Ad: "Don't Pay For Health Care Reform On The Backs Of Our Seniors"

Narrator: "Seniors have sacrificed."

Seniors: "We survived the Great Depression, and landed at Normandy on D-Day. We raised strong families, and protected our freedom in a dangerous world. We've been called the greatest generation, but we were only doing our duty. We sacrificed because we love our country and all we ever asked was to enjoy our retirement and receive the health care that we have earned.

But now, Washington wants to cut up to $500 billion from Medicare, to help pay for a plan that could lead to a government-takeover of our health care and could withhold treatment and potentially life saving drugs.

Don't make us pay for health care reform by cutting Medicare, call your senators and ask them, 'Haven't America's seniors sacrificed enough?'"

Narrator: "Don't pay for health care reform on the backs of our seniors." [60 Plus Ad via YouTube, accessed 11/4/09]

So Called Medicare "Cuts" Are Really Savings

"None Of The 'Savings' Or 'Cuts' (Whichever You Prefer) Come From Reducing Current Or Future Benefit Levels For Seniors." According to FactCheck.org, "The House bill would trim projected increases in payments for hospitals, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and others, including home health care providers and suppliers of motor-driven wheelchairs. But it also proposes what CBO estimates is a $245 billion increase in spending for doctors, by canceling a scheduled 21 percent cut in physician payments. None of the 'savings' or 'cuts' (whichever you prefer) come from reducing current or future benefit levels for seniors." [FactCheck.org, accessed 9/9/09]

CBO: Cost Changes To Medicare Made From Savings. According to the CBO letter to Senator Baucus: "Changes to the Medicare program and changes to Medicaid and CHIP other than those associated directly with expanded insurance coverage:  Savings from those provisions are estimated to total $93 billion in 2019, and CBO projects that, in combination, they will increase by 10 percent to 15 percent per year in the next decade." [CBO.gov, 10/7/09]

Legislation Does Not Restrict Access To Care Or Medication For Seniors

"Rationing," also known as "death panels" to Republicans, will not occur under current legislation.

PolitiFact.com Gave "Death Panels" Claim A "Pants On Fire" Rating.  According to PolitiFact.com: "Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin said that seniors and the disabled 'will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care.' We rated that Pants on Fire." [PolitiFact.com, 10/23/09]

Additionally, the legislation prevents insurance companies from rationing care.

FactCheck.org: Current Legislation Will Prevent Insurance Companies From Rationing Care To Customers.  According to FactCheck.org: "Rationing? That occurs on a regular basis today, whenever insurance companies or government programs like Medicare reject claims, or when the companies drop people who have become ill for not disclosing often minor and unrelated preexisting conditions. Under pending legislation, insurance companies would be unable to deny coverage to individuals because of preexisting conditions." [FactCheck.org, 9/9/09, emphasis added]