Faced with tough November races, several Republicans who supported GOP-led proposals to roll back Americans’ health coverage are now attacking their Democratic opponents for supposedly threatening Americans’ health care access by supporting a “Medicare for all” system — which would extend the existing Medicare program’s protections to cover everyone.
Republican Reps. Andy Barr (KY-6), Dave Brat (VA-7), and Kevin Yoder (KS-3) all voted for the Trumpcare proposal to strip a projected 23 million Americans of their health insurance. House GOP nominee Jay Webber (NJ-11) has backed the everyone-for-themselves approach to leave health care to the free market.
Each released a campaign spot in recent days making the same general dishonest claims, suggesting that Medicare expansion would destroy Medicare as we know it and rob millions of their health coverage by providing them with coverage.
Barr went first. Last Monday, he launched a 30-second ad attacking Democratic nominee Amy McGrath — who supports universal health care and once indicated that “if we were to build a health care system from scratch, single-payer would be the way to go” — for her “SOCIALIST Plan.”
The narrator warns that this “government-run healthcare” idea in fact “eliminates private plans, costs $32 trillion, doubles your federal taxes, and ends Medicare as we know it.” According to this logic, by giving everyone a membership to their local zoo, McGrath would be ending zoos as we know them.
On Friday, Yoder dropped a similar broadside on Democratic nominee Sharice Davids, calling her “too radical for Kansas” for supporting H.R. 676, the Expanded & Improved Medicare for All Act.
“She’s so extreme, she wants to abolish all private employer-provided insurance,” the narrator warns, by backing a bill that “makes private insurance illegal, kicking 178 million Americans off their coverage.”
Yoder too claims that Davids’ position on health care amounts to “ending Medicare as we know it.” Under his odd thinking, Medicare is a stellar program as we know it that should not be ended, but giving more people access to it would amount to taking away their insurance.
Also on Friday, state Assemblyman and former New Jersey state Republican chairman Jay Webber — the GOP nominee for retiring Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen’s open seat — dropped a similar hit on his opponent. Her crime? Merely expressing interest in the idea of universal Medicare.
Pictured with his father, Webber cautions voters that “Democrat Mikie Sherrill is interested in Medicare for All, a dangerous socialized medicine scheme.” His dad pipes in to add that “that would end Medicare as we know it.” Webber vows instead to “strengthen and protect Medicare,” because “that’s the care our parents and grandparents deserve.” Apparently only if they are 65 years or older.
On Monday, Dave Brat attacked his Democratic opponent, Abigal Spanberger, for endorsing universal coverage through a “public option” through Medicare. This idea, which would merely add an additional Medicare-X choice to the existing health care exchanges, was distasteful enough to Brat to earn his prediction that it would “bankrupt Medicare as we know it” and “double our taxes.”
Ironically, it was Brat who in 2014 called for “major cuts” to Medicare and Social Security and for actually raising the eligiblity ages.
Barr and Yoder were among more than a dozen vulnerable Republican House incumbents who scrubbed their campaign issue pages of any mention of their desire to “repeal and replace” Obamacare.