MEMO:  Ohio Seniors Target of Malicious Medicare Misinformation Campaign from Corporate Front Group

MEMO:  Ohio Seniors Target of Malicious Medicare Misinformation Campaign from Corporate Front Group ‘60 Plus Association’


Date: September 22, 2010


To: Interested Parties


From: Americans United for Change


Halloween came early for Ohio seniors this year.  If you’ve turned on the television this week, you may have seen ads from a shadowy group calling themselves ‘60 Plus Association’ that makes a scary claim that Congressman John Boccieri (OH-16) supported a health care bill that “cuts $500 billion from Medicare” that will “hurt the quality of seniors’ care.”  Frightening stuff for any Medicare beneficiary to hear.  There’s just one problem.  It’s total rubbish.


See Political Correction: ‘60 Plus' New/Old Ad "Hurts" Seniors By Lying To Them About Medicare’


Completely contrary to the ad’sclaim, 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.”


FactCheck.orgblasted the ‘60 Plus’ ads as “misleading,” noting: “[I]n fact, Medicare’s basic benefits package will be getting better. The new law says seniors will be entitled to free preventive care. Also, the law closes a "doughnut hole" in the Part D prescription drug plan that prevented coverage of medication costs after an individual and his or her plan had spent $2,830. Coverage resumed after the beneficiary spent $4,500 out-of-pocket. The law gradually shrinks the gap until, by 2020, it’s gone… Most of the ads conclude with someone looking at the camera and pretending to tell the targeted lawmaker, "You’re fired!" Our question is, who gets fired for making misleading ads?”


What’s even more deceitful than the $5 million ‘60 Plus Association’ ad campaign airing across the country is that the corporate front group actually calls itself a "non-partisan seniors advocacy group.”  Considering that a top goal of the ‘60 Plus Association’ is to phase out Social Security with a risky privatization scheme on Wall Street – for them to call themselves a ‘seniors advocacy group’ would be like oil giant BP calling itself an ‘environmental advocacy group.’


See WashingtonIndependent:  ‘The 60 Plus Association, Proud Supporters of Social Security Privatization’


The fact is, thanks to Representatives like John Boccieri, Medicare beneficiaries will benefit from the program more than ever before – all the same guaranteed benefits now with better prescription drug coverage and free preventive care.  It’s because Congressman Boccieri is such a strong advocate of protecting Medicare and Social Security for Ohio seniors that he is a top target of special interests who want to see the programs privatized and Wall Street bankers get their hands on our guaranteed benefits.


Bottom Line: this corporate front group’s malicious misinformation campaign aimed at seniors across the country must be exposed for what it is.  That is why today, Americans United ally Health Care for America Now (HCAN), the 1,000-member coalition that led the successful fight for health reform, is asking 83 television stations in 16 congressional districts to stop airing the ’60 Plus Association’ ads that purposely misrepresent Representatives like John Boccieri who are standing with seniors and standing up against the special interests on Wall Street.   In a letter today, HCAN urged the broadcasters to immediately stop airing the fallacious ads from the “seniors advocacy group” that is anything but.