"These ads are designed to spread fear among Medicare enrollees by promoting the misconception that the Affordable Care Act represents a threat to the integrity of their health benefits," wroite HCAN executive director Ethan Rome in a letter to the general managers of the stations running the ads. "This is a blatant falsehood."
In a response letter on behalf of 60-Plus, former Bush attorney Jason Torchinsky lays out the case for the ads, which seek to convince seniors that the health care law will cut their Medicare benefits. "The HCAN letter is a meritless attempt to deny the public the opportunity to view and consider an advertisement critical of legislation enacted and positions taken on issues of national importance," he writes.
The 60-Plus Association bills itself as a conservative alternative to AARP, but has virtually no income from member dues. Their ads' most prominent argument is that the health care law will "cut" Medicare by $500 billion.
As is so often the case when evaluating the accuracy of political arguments made about the health care law, the claim isn't entirely false. The bill does find $500 billion in savings, largely by ending overpayments to providers of Medicare Advantage plans, and reducing payment increases to providers to incentivize improved care. The bill does not mandate benefit cuts of any kind, though some seniors on Medicare advantage might see some disruption.
However, most independent experts agree that the savings the bill squeezes out of Medicare result from positive changes that improve the program.
You can see one of the 60-Plus ads below. Similar ads run in over 80 markets around the country.