Raleigh – Republicans are stuck on defense on health care because they can’t explain their records on refusing to expand Medicaid or failing to protect those with preexisting conditions. Now, Republican campaigns have resorted to lying about dozens of Democrats’ positions in order to distract from their party’s long-held, and widely unpopular, positions on health care. The truth is, Democrats are running on increasing access to affordable health care and protecting preexisting conditions, while Republicans are trying desperately to distract from their abysmal record.
“Republicans are so desperate to deceive and distract voters from their records on health care that they’re resorting to flat-out lies,” NCDP Executive Director Kimberly Reynolds said. “With North Carolina Democrats running on expanding Medicaid, lowering health care costs, and protecting preexisting conditions, Republicans’ last shot is hoping the voters fall for their tricks. They won’t.”
News & Observer: GOP wrongly accuses dozens of Democrats of forcing single-payer health care on NC
October 23, 2018
No matter where you live in North Carolina, you’re likely to receive a political mailer about health care.
Democratic candidates in North Carolina say the GOP-controlled state legislature hasn’t done enough to improve health care. They say Republicans should at the very least expand Medicaid, which experts have said could help cover up to 500,000 people in the state.
Republicans’ main defense is that expanding Medicaid is too expensive and that Democrats want to go several steps further than that. An ad campaign by the state Republican Party says Democrats have a “radical” health care agenda that will “destroy our economy, kill our jobs, take more of your hard-earned dollars in taxes, and infringe on your personal freedoms.”
The NC GOP attack on Democrats, which includes digital ads and mailers in districts across the state, is summarized on RadicalDemAgenda.com. The party has purchased internet domain names of Democratic candidates — such as JulieVonHaefen.com — to reach voters. Republican candidates are using the same messaging in ads they pay for.
The GOP claim is two-pronged.
First, that “55 liberal members and candidates of the North Carolina Democratic House Caucus signed a pledge to enact an extreme, far-left healthcare agenda.”
Second, that “part of their health care agenda is to force all North Carolinians into a single-payer health insurance scheme. The non-partisan North Carolina General Assembly Fiscal Research staff calculated it would cost North Carolina $72 billion and force all residents to give up their current health care plan.”
Did Democrats “pledge” to “force” North Carolinians into a single-payer health system that would cost $72 billion?
Let’s break it down.
A pledge: ‘Universal, affordable health care’
The GOP ad refers to a platform pushed by Future Now, a left-leaning advocacy group. The group has seven main goals, which are listed at FutureNow.org and AmericasGoals.org.
One of the goals is “affordable, quality healthcare.” As part of this goal, the group wants to see “universal, affordable health coverage with a cap on out-of-pocket expenses.” The group thinks reaching this goal could ultimately end hunger and boost life expectancy rates to 84 years.The GOP ad mentions 55 people who signed the pledge to work toward the Future Now goals. The true number is even higher, according to Future Now spokeswoman Alyssa Cass.
More than 65 House members are listed on the Future Now website.
As for the pledge, there’s an important distinction to be made between single-payer health care and universal health care, said Daniel Squadron, Future Now executive director. One refers to who’s paying for the coverage, while the other refers to how many people are covered.
It’s not fair to equate Future Now’s goals with a bill exploring single-payer health care, Squadron said. Future Now supports expanding Medicaid in North Carolina but hasn’t endorsed any specific legislation, Squadron said, adding that the GOP is distorting the truth about his group to scare North Carolinians out of voting for Democrats.
“I would’ve thought that the idea of people across the country having access to health care wouldn’t be controversial,” he said. “Apparently for the GOP attacking it, that’s not a valuable goal worth working towards, so that’s surprising and disturbing.”
A Kaiser Family Foundation poll found a majority of respondents have favorable views of “Medicare for all” and “universal health care.” The term “single-payer,” which appears most often in the GOP ads, got far less support.
The N.C. GOP says part of the Democrats’ agenda is to “force all North Carolinians into a single-payer health insurance scheme” that would cost $72 billion.
As for implementing a single-payer health care system, the GOP is right about the potential cost. But they’re misleading voters about what the bill would do, who supported it and what the Future Now pledge represents. The bill directed a study — not implementation of a single-payer health system. It was sponsored by 10 Democrats and hasn’t been pushed by the party as a whole. The Future Now pledge, meanwhile, doesn’t specifically endorse a single-payer health care system. We rate this claim False.