The fear-mongering around health insurance reform has reached a fever pitch as we head into the last days before the 2010 election. Now yet another Republican PAC has come out with an attack ad using falsehoods about healthcare reform to scare voters away from a Democratic candidate, in this case claiming that if you don’t get health insurance, the Democrats will put you in jail.
Via the Plum Line:
Check out this spot slamming Dem Rep Chris Murphy of Connecticut — who’s being challenged in a tough district by Republican Sam Caligiuri — with the claim that health reform means “jail time for anyone without coverage.”
The spot, which was sent in by an operative involved in the race, is the handiwork of American Action Network, another shadowy conservative group that has already spent $5 million this cycle.
The ad claims health reform means “$500 billion in Medicare cuts.” But Politifact found that “the law does not take $500 billion out of the current Medicare budget.”
The ad claims health reform means “thousands of new IRS agents.” But Factcheck.org pronounced that assertion “wildly misleading.”
As for the claim of “jail time for anyone without coverage,” the original bill passed by the House did provide for possible criminal prosecution of those who evade the tax imposed on those who don’t get mandated coverage. But FactCheck.org says the Senate nixed that provision, and the final bill Obama signed said folks will not be subject to criminal prosecution.
All of which is to say — again — that the untold side of this story is that all this cash is funding a massive national campaign riddled with falsehoods and distortions.
American Action Network has a host of high profile backers, most notably former Senator Norm Coleman, who lost his Minnesota senate seat to Al Franken in the 2008 election after a tight race and recount.