Thursday, May 15, 2014

FIRST LISTEN, INSTANT FACT CHECK: NRCC Robocalls On Rep. "Barber's Support For Cutting Our Medicare Benefits"

The National Republican Congressional Committee ("NRCC") indicated today that it has begun robocalling southern Arizona seniors to tell them about Rep. Ron Barber's (D-CD2) "support for cutting our Medicare benefits."  However, in trying to boil down the message, the NRCC is misleading recipients of the phone calls.

Here is the call, with the transcript below:

Transcript: Hello, I’m calling from the National Republican Congressional Committee to alert you to our Congressman Ron Barber’s support for cutting our Medicare benefits. In 2012, Barber criticized Medicare Advantage as a program that spends too much, and Barber even praised Obamacare’s cuts to the program – saying that additional taxpayer dollars should not go to Medicare Advantage. Call Ron Barber today and tell him seniors can’t afford these cuts. This call was paid for by the National Republican Congressional Committee and was not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. 202-479-7000.

Politico indicated today that the NRCC plans to call "several thousand" seniors with the call (below).

The Republican nominee to oppose Barber will take place on August 26; Martha McSally - who barely lost to Barber in 2012 - is considered the front-runner to win that primary.

FACT CHECK: The robocall indicates that Barber "support(s) cutting our Medicare benefits."  However, the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare does not reduce Medicare benefits or reduce the Medicare trust fund.  Payments to providers and to private Medicare Advantage plans - supplementing Medicare - were cut; Republicans proposed similar reductions in their primary budget plans. In the 2012 campaign, McSally had indicated support for those plans.  Both parties are going to continue to work this issue in slippery ways.  GRADE: "C-" for misleading.

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