Astroturf campaign uses fake letters from senior citizens to push for Medicare Advantage.

The Eagle-Tribune reports that a lobbying group hired by America’s Health Insurance Plans, a trade group for insurance companies, is waging a pro-Medicare Advantage astroturf campaign. The Dewey Sqaure Group, a consulting group founded by Democratic operatives, sent letters to the editor purportedly written by seniors urging support of the costly private Medicare plans, which the Obama administration plans to eliminate. However, some of these seniors had never written any such letters; a few didn’t even know what Medicare Advantage was:

A letter supposedly from Ana Abascal of Lawrence said she “wanted to express how important my Medicare Advantage health plan is to me and other fixed-income seniors in my community.”

But when contacted by The Eagle-Tribune, Abascal was shocked and concerned to learn someone was using her name on a letter to the editor. She did not know what the Medicare Advantage plan was.

The Eagle-Tribune writes that the “tip off” to the fake campaign came when a man who turned out to be a Dewey intern called the paper to check if a letter from Gloria Gosselin had been published, falsely claiming to be Gosselin’s grandson. (HT: Romenesko)