The Arkansas Senate race between Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor and Republican Rep. Tom Cotton began for us in June 2013 — just six months into the new Congress — with an article that carried the headline “It’s Groundhog Day for Fact-Checkers.” It hasn’t gotten much better for fact-checkers since then.
A conservative group’s ad attacking Sen. Mark Pryor shows an image of a senior man while saying Pryor “suggested raising the retirement age” for Social Security. He did — but not for the gentleman pictured.
A new ad from Republican Montana Senate candidate Steve Daines falsely accuses his Democratic opponent, Sen. John Walsh, of wanting to privatize Social Security. And both candidates trade jabs in competing TV ads on Medicare.
Ghost stories are fanciful, frightening tales told to children. But political claims about Medicare cuts are stories used to scare senior citizens. Such distortions are currently on display in the high-profile Kentucky Senate race.
Rep. Nick Rahall of West Virginia takes a quote from his Republican opponent, Evan Jenkins, out of context to falsely imply that Jenkins is “comfortable” with raising “seniors’ out-of-pocket costs” for Medicare by $6,000.
Q: Is it true that, under the Affordable Care Act, “Medicare will not pay anything” for patients receiving only “observation” care in hospitals?
A: No. Medicare will pay a significant portion of observation care costs after copayments and deductibles are met. Nothing has changed as a result of the ACA.
Another liberal group is attacking Republican Rep. Tom Cotton in Arkansas by saying Cotton has experience in the insurance industry and is attempting to undermine Medicare. Cotton’s insurance experience is limited to consulting work for a federal agency.
A TV ad says Rep. Tom Cotton was “paid handsomely working for insurance companies” and wants to transform Medicare in ways that would benefit the industry at the expense of seniors. But there’s no evidence Cotton did work for insurers.
Q: Does the Affordable Care Act require Medicare beneficiaries over age 75 to be admitted to the hospital by their primary care physician?
A. No. There is no such requirement in the law.