Nick Rahall (D-WV) tries the mediscare play

posted at 8:31 am on June 21, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

Among the many endangered species Democrats who are on the block this November, one in particular seems to be getting nervous to the point of desperation. Nick Rahall, in West Virginia’s 3rd district, is in a tough race this year against Evan Jenkins. (For the record, Jenkins is a recovering Democrat who changed parties after apparently growing despondent over his former party’s positions on guns, jobs, the war on coal and other issues.) Rahall recently launched a new television ad in which he attempts to “inform” voters about Jenkins’ position on Medicare. (The video is available here at Factcheck.)

When money talks, Evan Jenkins listens. His billionaire financial backers want to turn Medicare into a voucher plan.

That could raise seniors’ out of pocket costs, something Evan Jenkins is comfortable with. He said seniors “should have some financial skin in the game” and “think harder about going to the doctor.”

West Virginia seniors deserve better.

Wow. That’s a pretty damning indictment. Or at least it would be if it were even remotely close to being true.

Actually, Jenkins was talking about nominal copays for Medicaid — not Medicare.

The TV ad, titled “Listens,” is the latest example of what we call “Mediscare” — a distortion of an opponent’s position on Medicare to scare seniors…

The “voucher plan” and the $6,000 price tag are badly outdated references to a House Republican budget plan introduced by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin in 2011. As we have written a few times, Ryan significantly revised that plan and it may or may not increase seniors’ out-of-pocket expenses…

Immediately after the ad’s narrator says Jenkins is “comfortable” with raising seniors’ out-of-pocket costs, the ad makes this false claim: “He said seniors should have some ‘financial skin in the game’ and ‘think harder about going to the doctor.’ ” On the screen, viewers see a partial quote attributed to Jenkins from a Charleston Daily Mail article from May 13, 2013: “With a little financial skin in the game, they will think about . . . whether or not ‘I really need to go to the doctor.’ ”

Who’s “they”? Not seniors. Jenkins wasn’t talking about Ryan’s plan, seniors or Medicare. He was talking about Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act and charging Medicaid recipients a nominal copay to prevent the overuse of services, particularly emergency department services. Medicaid is a joint federal-state health insurance program for low-income people; Medicare provides health insurance for those age 65 and over.

So the reality was that Jenkins was actually talking about a program where many seniors probably wouldn’t mind seeing some cost savings, but Rahall flatly lied about it and substituted a different program. This is pretty much the equivalent of the old Paul Ryan Pushing Granny Off a Cliff in a Wheelchair ad. Only it’s being tuned up and taken out for a fresh spin in the 2014 mid-terms. Ah… I suppose you never really get tired of the golden oldies, eh?

Politics is a hardball game, so this sort of thing is sadly to be expected on the modern ideological battlefield. And while Rahall needs to be allowed his fair share of free speech, it almost makes one think twice about proposed laws against lying in political campaigns. But on the plus side, if a sitting congressman is desperate enough to run a blatant, easily exposed piece of mendacity such as this, then West Virginia might be one step closer to sending him off to a long overdue retirement.

Meanwhile, Jenkins is launching ads such as this:

Quite the contrast, eh?


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Unfortunately, this is now the norm for Democratic candidates.

Lord Whorfin on June 21, 2014 at 8:40 AM

Countless Dems have demonstrated time and again that you can’t go wrong with Mediscare ads. Don’t underestimate the gullibility of the LoFos. Advantage Rahall.

bofh on June 21, 2014 at 8:42 AM

Remember, with Dems like Eleanor Clift who loves Harry Reid’s admitted false ads because they work, it is the ends not the means that counts and besides as Dan Rather would say: It is not the veracity of the evidence that counts, it is the seriousness of the charge. Bottom Line: Any lie that will do will do. And its easy if the media will never call you on it.

KW64 on June 21, 2014 at 8:49 AM

Unfortunately, this is now the norm for Democratic candidates.

Lord Whorfin on June 21, 2014 at 8:40 AM

I was going to point out that RINOs do this too – but then, I think they are actually somewhere on the Democrap Spectrum Disorder. IMO.

Shay on June 21, 2014 at 8:54 AM

Like Rahall cares about the truth. By election time, Jenkins will be the Koch’s point man for bringing back slavery and lowering the minimum wage to -5.00/hr.

mankai on June 21, 2014 at 8:56 AM

To the people that would even think about voting for a democrat, lying is no big deal. The democrats have been rewarding for lying time and time again.

Flange on June 21, 2014 at 9:06 AM

Typical Dhimmicrap tactics. Won’t change, and the azzwipe incumbent will lie his way back to DC.

vnvet on June 21, 2014 at 9:12 AM

Does it even matter anymore? Money controls Washington and the People. You have no say in the matter

Brock Robamney on June 21, 2014 at 9:14 AM

What else do you expect from the Fascist-Democrats?

rbj on June 21, 2014 at 9:14 AM

Leftist lies get ignored. Conservatives are attacked for telling the truth. Legislation won’t change a thing.

ROCnPhilly on June 21, 2014 at 9:15 AM

For the record, Jenkins is a recovering Democrat who changed parties after apparently growing despondent over his former party’s positions on guns, jobs, the war on coal and other issues.

The word RINO would have sufficed.

bgibbs1000 on June 21, 2014 at 9:24 AM

There is one truth- Liberals lie.

Ta111 on June 21, 2014 at 9:25 AM

If Republicans won’t fight fire with fire and use the same tactics in their own ads, they deserve to lose, and will lose.

The lesson should have been learned long ago.

mypalfish on June 21, 2014 at 9:37 AM

The RINO squish Jenkins runs a RINO squish ad. WOW am I surprised.

bgibbs1000 on June 21, 2014 at 9:43 AM

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself . . .”

~ FDR Democrat Party, 2014

RedPepper on June 21, 2014 at 9:47 AM

Run an ad exposing the lies for what they are, and tell the voters that if a candidate is willing to outright lie to win an election, then he’s willing to lie, cheat and steal for his own good while in office, too.

HiJack on June 21, 2014 at 9:47 AM

This seems to be the norm for Democrats in 2014. They must lie and distort to win. Kay Hagan used similar tactics in North Carolina again Tillis, in the Republican primary!

Techster64 on June 21, 2014 at 9:56 AM

I believe truth and the Democratic Party were separated at birth.

bflat879 on June 21, 2014 at 10:02 AM

Dog bites man. Film at 11.

yaedon on June 21, 2014 at 10:10 AM

I believe truth and the Democratic Party were separated at birth.

bflat879 on June 21, 2014 at 10:02 AM

I don’t think that phrase means what you think it means…

yaedon on June 21, 2014 at 10:11 AM

This seems to be the norm for Democrats in 2014 since LBJ. They must lie and distort to win.

Techster64 on June 21, 2014 at 9:56 AM

That’s better.

yaedon on June 21, 2014 at 10:13 AM

You know, I thought (at least in the olden days, say the 70′s and 80′s) that it was incumbent upon the tv station or newspaper not to run blatantly fallacious ads.

But what the hey, who wants to chip in with me? I”m going to run some “Harry Reid is a pederast. He wants to screw your children by spending their futures on his crony capitalist friends.”

MistyLane on June 21, 2014 at 10:37 AM

If Republicans won’t fight fire with fire and use the same tactics in their own ads, they deserve to lose, and will lose.

The lesson should have been learned long ago.

mypalfish on June 21, 2014 at 9:37 AM

EXACTLY! Which makes me wonder whether they are really interested in losing. After all, Boehner et.al. are doing their collective best to snatch Nov senate defeat from jaws of victory. Put Rubio, McCain, Nancy Graham and the rest in that column.

They want to preserve the status quo, while attempting to appear the “reasonable ones” all the while being as dirty and unpatriotic as Reid/Pelosi

MistyLane on June 21, 2014 at 10:43 AM

“Politics is a hardball game, so this sort of thing is sadly to be expected”…REALLY JAZZ????? a Game!!!!?????????

how is it a “game” Jazz…when the only losers have been the American People?????…a GAME!!????…..this “game” is about to take a very serious turn!!!…your roll!!!!

billofrights on June 21, 2014 at 10:51 AM

For the record, Jenkins is a recovering Democrat who changed parties after apparently growing despondent over his former party’s positions on guns, jobs, the war on coal and other issues.

Yeah, right up until liberalism is in favor again. F*cking weasel – and why does the GOP allow this kind of shit? Couldn’t find a Republican of any stripe to run?

For f*cks sake.

Midas on June 21, 2014 at 10:53 AM

Rahall must really be in trouble if he has to resort to ads like this. He’s never had any serious opposition in his other reelection campaigns.

Royal Fizzbin on June 21, 2014 at 10:55 AM

Well, he is dealing with Wes’ Virginny.

formwiz on June 21, 2014 at 11:06 AM

Why am I not surprised?

SupplyGuy on June 21, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Wow. That’s a pretty damning indictment. Or at least it would be if it were even remotely close to being true.

…he’s a Demorat…there is no thing such thing as “remotely close to being true”!

JugEarsButtHurt on June 21, 2014 at 12:12 PM

Nick Rahall, in West Virginia’s 3rd district

WV has more than one district? Huh, imagine that.

GWB on June 21, 2014 at 12:20 PM

it almost makes one think twice about proposed laws against lying in political campaigns

How about just enforcing libel/slander laws? Admittedly, proving an negative impact to “reputation” would be tough for almost any politician, something like this should be pretty easy to prove the “false and misleading” element.

…he’s a Demorat…there is no thing such thing as “remotely close to being true”!

JugEarsButtHurt on June 21, 2014 at 12:12 PM

I think the term you’re thinking of is “truthiness”!

GWB on June 21, 2014 at 12:24 PM

GWB on June 21, 2014 at 12:24 PM

*but something

GWB on June 21, 2014 at 12:25 PM

OT – we need a thread on this – it will make history.

Schadenfreude on June 21, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Gosh DANG, there’s a lot of billionaires out there, flinging money around. How come I can NEVER find one when, like, the car breaks or something?

tree hugging sister on June 21, 2014 at 1:16 PM

How long had the old relic been in office…come on people, wise up.

crosshugger on June 21, 2014 at 1:43 PM

I’m sure as we get closer and closer to November that Ds will become increasingly desperate.

cat_owner on June 21, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Schadenfreude on June 21, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Hoping for a BIG McDaniel victory on Tuesday.

cat_owner on June 21, 2014 at 3:17 PM