60 Plus Association's "Courage" Ad Lacks The Courage To Tell The Truth

December 14, 2009 3:19 pm ET

The conservative, anti-health care reform group 60 Plus is airing a new round of ads alternately attacking or thanking senators for their votes on a recent McCain amendment.  The big thinkers at 60 Plus failed to notice, however, Sen. McCain's decades of disgraceful votes that have slashed Medicare for America's seniors.

60 Plus Ad "Courage"

The "Courage" ad series has a national ad (seen above) as well as additional ads targeting Sens. Begich, Conrad, and Dorgan and thanking Sens. Webb and Ben Nelson.

"Courage": "Can Medicare survive a nearly $500 billion cut? What would huge Medicare cuts mean to you and your family members? Senator John McCain proposed an amendment to remove all the Medicare cuts from Harry Reid's health care bill.  But the liberals in Congress rejected McCain's amendment.  Nearly 500 billion in Medicare cuts will take effect if Harry Reid's health care bill wins.  Tell your senators to vote 'no' on Medicare cuts.  Vote 'no' on a government takeover of health care." [60 Plus Ad, "Courage-National", via YouTube, accessed 12/14/09]

60 Plus Does Not Understand The Legislation

"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]

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]

Changes To Medicare Advantage Come With Extra Benefits For All Medicare Enrollees.  FactCheck.org reported: "The CBO has estimated that the move would change the value of the extra benefits Medicare Advantage participants get, but they would not receive fewer benefits than the rest of seniors who aren't on the Advantage plans. The bill does add some extras for Medicare beneficiaries, eliminating copays and deductibles for preventive services, for example." [FactCheck.org, 12/2/09, emphasis added]

There Is Nothing Courageous Or Admirable About McCain's Record

Sen. John McCain has spent his career voting against Medicare benefits for seniors.  His recent amendment was only proposed to set himself apart from Democrats - not as a result of a desire to make Medicare a better program for America's seniors.

2005: McCain Voted To Cut $6.4 Billion From Medicare. [S. 1932, Vote #363, 12/21/05]

2005: McCain Voted For GOP Budget That Cut Over $5 Billion From Medicare.  [S. 1932, Vote #303, 11/3/2005]

2003: McCain Opposed Allocating An Additional $12 Billion In Medicare Funds For Cancer, Heart Disease, And Alzheimer Patients. [S. 1, Vote #253, 6/26/03]

2003: McCain Voted Against Increasing Funding For Medicare And Medicaid Programs By $4.1 Billion. [H.J.R. 2, Vote #21, 1/23/03]

1996: McCain Voted To Cut An Estimated $158.1 Billion From Medicare.  [H.C.R. 178, Vote #156, 5/23/1996; H.C.R. 178, Vote #159, 6/13/1996]

1996: McCain Voted To Cut An Estimated $158.1 Billion In Medicare And $72 Billion From Medicaid As Part Of The FY 1997 Budget Resolution. [H.C.R. 178, Vote #159, 6/13/96]

1996: McCain Voted To Cut Medicare By $158 Billion And Medicaid By $72 Billion As Part Of The FY 1997 Budget Resolution. [H.C.R. 178, Vote #156, 5/23/96]

1995: McCain Voted To Cut Medicare By $270 billion.  [H.R. 2491, Vote #584, 11/17/1995; H.R. 2491, Vote #556, 10/27/1995; H.C.R. 67, Vote #296, 6/29/1995]

1995: McCain Voted To Cut Medicare By $256 Billion to Pay For Tax Cuts For The Rich.  [S.C.R. 13, Vote #232, 5/25/1995]

1995: McCain Voted Against Reducing Cuts To Medicare By $181 Billion. [S. 1357, Vote #499, 10/26/95]

1995: McCain Voted To Cut Medicare And Medicaid By $100 Billion. [S.C.R. 13, Vote #173, 5/22/95]

1995: McCain Voted To Cut Medicare By $270 Billion. [H.R. 2491, Vote #584, 11/17/95; H.R. 2491, Vote #556, 10/27/95]

1995: McCain Voted In Favor Of Cuts In Medicare Payments To Hospitals.. [S. 1357, Vote #524, 10/27/95]

1995: McCain Voted Against Reducing Cuts To Medicare By $181 Billion. [S. 1357, Vote #499, 10/26/95]

1995: McCain Voted To Cut Medicaid/Medicare Funding By $452 Billion. [H.C.R. 67, Vote #296, 6/29/95]

1995: McCain Voted To Cut Medicare By $256 Billion In Order To Pay For Tax Cuts For The Rich. [S.C.R. 13, Vote #232, 5/25/95]

1995: McCain Voted to Cut Medicare & Medicaid By $100 Billion. [S.C.R. 13, Vote #173, 5/22/95]

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