Muftic: Fibs, lies and political ads |

Muftic: Fibs, lies and political ads

Felicia Muftic
Courtesy Photo |

Once in a while a series of negative and political attack ads are so off base, outrageous, and offensive that they just cannot go unchallenged. These attack ads are fibs about alleged fibs.

There are such ads running against Sen. Mark Udall, Democrat running for re-election to the U.S. Senate, that accuse him of virtually lying about Medicare and insurance premium costs. In fact, bottom line, no benefits have been removed from Medicare, insurance premiums have not increased but slightly decreased, and Obamacare has extended Medicare’s life. Yes, some had to find a new insurance plan, but nearly all found another plan that had more benefits than their old one.

How Gardner would vote in the Senate on Obamacare: to repeal, and he has offered no plans to replace, which means if the GOP had its way, millions would be back to scrambling again to change plans and be back to being overcharged, capped, no way to cover pre-existing conditions, most would be unable to afford any insurance, and everyone would be out of luck if they lost employer insurance.

Some fact-checking: One ad attacks Udall for his support of Obamacare because Udall said Obamacare would strengthen Medicare. Instead, the ad continues, Obamacare removes over $1,000-plus from seniors’ benefits. No traditional Medicare benefits are affected by Obamacare. Period. What the attack ads do not disclose is that instead of weakening Medicare, Obamacare has added at least 14 years to its solvency, and Gardner would reverse that.

What is affected is Medicare Advantage, which combines Medicare and supplemental policies. Insurance companies had been raking in excess profits with Advantage by overcharging and hiking prices above what government Medicare costs. Those subsidies have been removed and applied to funding health care.

Also what attack ads do not disclose is that Udall’s opponent Gardner consistently has voted in Congress in lockstep with the rest of his GOP caucus to privatize Medicare (premium support) to let seniors under 55 buy private insurance and to give block grants to states to fund it, eliminating Medicare government direct payments to the rest of seniors with no assurance increases would keep up with future increases in health care costs.

Another attack ad related to Obamacare is that Udall misleads us about Obamacare reducing the costs of insurance. While not all of the October rates for Obamacare insurance in all states are in, that has not happened on the average in states with their own exchanges, including Colorado. A Kaiser Family Foundation report came to that conclusion, though there are variations per state and per plan.

States like Colorado (unlike most red states) also permit Medicaid expansion that reduces having hospitals shoulder unpaid charity bills and then shift costs to premiums of paying customers. If all states expanded Medicaid as Obamacare permits, a move fought tooth and nail by the GOP, we would all begin to see less cost shifting to all of our premiums nationwide.

For data sources, visit

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