Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign trope about the length of time his opponent, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, has spent in office, with ads featuring such things as broken-down Pintos to illustrate what was going on when Nelson was first elected to the Senate nearly two decades ago.
But Scott’s camp had its throwback moment of sorts this week, with the release of a spot that accuses Nelson of having “voted to cut $716 billion from Medicare.”
It’s an abbreviated version of a charge hurled by former U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV in his losing race against Nelson six years ago.
But it isn’t true, according to Politifact, which repeatedly debunked the accusation made by Mack and other Republicans following the passage of President Barack Obama’s signature piece of legislation, the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.”
Four times during a debate in 2012, Mack accused Nelson of voting to cut $700 billion from Medicare to pay for Obamacare.
Here’s an excerpt from Politifact’s ruling, back in the day:
Medicare spending increases under Obamacare, but over 10 years, it rises more slowly that it would without the law. The money comes from reducing payments to insurance companies and hospitals.
Part of the savings go to reduce prescription drug payments for Medicare recipients, as well as to provide free preventive care.
Overall, the lower spending extends the solvency of Medicare by eight years.
We rate the statement Mostly False.
“It’s absurd to be leveling a charge that was used by Connie Mack IV to attack Bill Nelson six years ago,” Nelson spokesman Dan McLaughlin said Wednesday evening, pointing out that the allegation about voting to take money from Medicare was “repeatedly debunked” by Politifact.
The ad, entitled “Responsibility,” punches Nelson for a recent anti-Scott spot, launched by Majority Forward, that hits on Scott’s role in the Medicare fraud involving Columbia/HCA. The hospital company was fined $1.7 billion for Medicaid fraud, after Scott stepped down as CEO of the chain. Here’s Politifact breaking down the Scott/HCA allegations.
And here’s the ad, released by Majority Forward Tuesday, that prompted the rebuttal: