MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin seniors took to the phone lines today to offer a reality check to their fellow Medicare and Social Security recipients who have been mislead by a barrage of special-interest advertising.
“Armed with corporate cash, these outside lobbyists are trying to trick people like me and it’s infuriating. That’s why I am volunteering to make these calls,” said Audrey Hanson a 62-year-old volunteer caller from Green Bay. “Seniors need to know who is really looking out for their interests and that all the corporate money in the world can’t change the truth.”
The phone bank effort was sparked by a recent flood of television ads from a shadowy group calling themselves “60 Plus Association.” The ads claim the new health insurance cuts Medicare.
The advertisement is completely false. In fact, according to the AARP:
The health care law strengthens Medicare by protecting and improving your guaranteed benefits and cracking down on waste, fraud and inefficiency. It also identifies savings that will keep Medicare financially stable for 12 years longer than if the law hadn’t been passed. The law protects any cuts to Medicare’s guaranteed benefits, which include doctor, hospital and rehabilitation services. This is true whether you have Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan.
Volunteers will relay the truth about Medicare under the health reform law and point out that the group behind the ads supports Social Security privatization.
According to Cory Liebmann at the Eye on Wisconsin blog, “representatives from 60-Plus were in the room when Karl Rove briefed lobbyists on the Bush administration’s plans regarding privatizing Social Security.” He adds that “the 60 Plus Association has long been a go-to group for conservative causes. Indicted former Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff once instructed a Native American tribe to donate to 60 Plus saying, that it would help garner support for their legislative causes with the House GOP leadership.” [Washington Times, 5/26/00; Mother Jones, 8/09]